The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

CRISPR has made revolutionary advances in the field of genetic enhancement, however, it's implementation is controversial.

Courtesy of the Broad Institute

CRISPR has made revolutionary advances in the field of genetic enhancement, however, it's implementation is controversial.

Luke Shin, Eastside Video Manager

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The CRISPR- Cas9 is a gene editing tool that has proven to be more efficient, cheap, and accurate than previously utilized techniques of modifying DNA. CRISPR- Cas9 works by using an enzyme, Cas9, to cut DNA at specific loci so that DNA can be either added or removed. This is done with a piece of RNA– more specifically guide RNA (gRNA)– consisting of a pre-designed sequence within a larger RNA scaffold. By binding the gRNA to the DNA, it ensures that the Cas9 enzyme makes its incision at the correct point in the DNA sequence.

While this new technology acts as a turning point in medical and biological fields, I believe that use of the system should be restricted solely to medical application. Modification of the germline for enhancement purposes presents many ethical and moral concerns. Can any substantial reason really be given for using such vital technology to change trivial genomes such as height or hair color? Abuse of CRISPR-Cas9 for enhancement modification purposes will only further advance social imbalance between those that can afford to modify their germlines and those that cannot. In other words, it removes the currently existing “level-playing field”. I firmly believe that the technology may be easily abused to fuel corrupt human ideations. In addition, the technology has yet to be perfected. This then creates an invasion of human rights as the irrational mistake of enhancing one’s germline could negatively and detrimentally affect generations to come. Any modifications on the genome will not directly affect the appearance of the person whose genomes have been modified, but rather, it will affect future generations as that person continues to reproduce and pass on his or her genes. By utilizing CRISPR-Cas9 for enhancement modification, one person may dictate the fate of his or her future generations without their consent, and potentially introduce harmful mutations into the germline.

CRISPR-Cas9 should solely be used for medicinal purposes and the federal government should push for legislation protecting CRISPR technology from being abused by higher class individuals who may have easier access to it. This tool truly redefines the limitations of medicine, now allowing us to begin treating and curing HIV, muscular dystrophy, and even various cancers. Creation of the tool does not mean that we should abuse it for personal gain, but rather allows for more effective means of medical treatment, in turn benefiting the human race.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Phil Murphy Elected as New Jersey Governor

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Flaws with the Cherry Hill School Board Elections must be addressed so as to ensure a more informed community

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Halloween curfew hours need revision

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Over the summer, students struggle to complete bucket lists

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    National Opinions

    Welcome to “AmeriKKKa”

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Column

    The new meaning of summer

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Margate beaches suffer as machines invade the shore town

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Opinions

    Go read a book!

  • CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements

    Eastside Special

    Township Today: Still Park debacle remains at impasse after hearing

The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East
CRISPR-Cas9 makes revolutionary, yet controversial genetic advancements