Citing not only the ease in which it can be done, but that the mutations are permanent and inheritable, a leading group of biologists has called for the ban on a new genome-editing technique. The procedure, which works on mice and primates, not only can be used to cure genetic diseases, it can also be used to make people prettier and smarter. Ethicists don't think that's a good idea.
Though highly efficient, the technique occasionally cuts the genome at unintended sites. The issue of how much mistargeting could be tolerated in a clinical setting is one that Dr. Doudna’s group wants to see thoroughly explored before any human genome is edited.
Scientists also say that replacing a defective gene with a normal one may seem entirely harmless but perhaps would not be.
“We worry about people making changes without the knowledge of what those changes mean in terms of the overall genome,” Dr. Baltimore said. “I personally think we are just not smart enough — and won’t be for a very long time — to feel comfortable about the consequences of changing heredity, even in a single individual.”
|Telepathy Now Possible|
|Watching Evolution in Action Using Virtual Creatures|
|OMG Space: the Solar System Done to Scale, In One Big, Scrollable Website|
|Earth-Sized Planet Found Near Sun-like Star|
|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
|Japanese Create Ice Cream That Does Not Melt|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Banning polluting cars in 2040 or 2050 doesn’t actually look like a very bold move.”|
|“Human and animal cells can be 3D printed into high-resolution tissue.”|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|