Expert panel approves human gene editing
BY Max Kempler
4:08PM, DECEMBER 4, 2015
Recently, scientists have been using chemical “scissors” to edit, or change, the DNA in living organisms. This is crazy--I can't believe it myself. They can now change DNA. This is by swapping out parts of DNA that could replace faulty genes. In theory, it also might make it possible to create designer babies that are smarter or better-looking than other individuals. But some people have questioned whether such tinkering with human cells would be like playing god. Imagine that now if someone really cares they could say I need my baby to have blue eyes and they could change their DNA and it would make them naturally have blue eyes. Many people also worry that editing isn’t safe. Those and other concerns have led some people to wonder if gene editing is so unethical that it should be banned. Such gene-editing tools have become so cheap and easy to use that it might be possible to use them soon to cure genetic diseases. But some people think the technology also could be misused, either accidently or on purpose. One notable success: Doctors announced on November 5 that gene editing helped push a 1-year-old girl’s leukemia (a blood cancer) into remission. The baby, named Layla, was treated with edited immune cells. In her case, the editing “scissors” used to slice genes are known as TALENs. They researchers engineer to latch onto DNA at specific sites and then cut it. This marked the first time TALENs have been successfully used to treat a human. And that's what scientists are working for so they can be used to help.
I chose this article mainly because well I wasn't at all expecting to see that gene editing had started. This just really surprised me. I find it really cool that this can be done now, but in my opinion it shouldn't be allowed to just use day to day-- change something quick about you. I think that this can really help people in DOCTORS HANDS. I honestly and truthfully believe that this is the start of Jurassic Park. I learned a lot from this article. I learned a lot because I didn't even know that gene editing was possible so HUMAN gene editing sure took me by shock. I also think that this will greatly affect the future in a good way. Unless Jurassic Park happens. I just think that this gene editing can open up new things that people have never thought of. Right now they can cut and change genes which is amazing but then that can lead up to tons more like creating human cells which could lead to creating a completely non robot actual arm. It’s cool because this can really help people. Like in one case: they helped push a 1-year-old girl’s leukemia (a blood cancer) into remission. This baby named Layla never would have had a chance at life. That baby was saved by the editing--it took away her bad genes, the ones that were making her sick. You never know, they may have saved the next president.
“Expert Panel Approves Human Gene Editing.” STUDENT SCIENCE. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <https://student.societyforscience.org/article/expert-panel-approves-human-gene-editing>.