“A powerful new tool to control which genes get expressed in plants, animals, and even humans.”

CRISPR/Cas9 for dummies

#Future

Fri, Jul 27th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

While we are nowhere near being able to make massive genetic edits to improve a human's intelligence or physical traits, Vox outlines what CRISPR/Cas9 is, how it works, and everything that's been done with it. But the most interesting part — besides how cheap and effective this gene editing system is — may be what could be done with it in the future.

5) Creating “designer babies”: This is the one that gets the most attention. It’s not entirely far-fetched to think we might one day use CRISPR to edit the human genome — to eliminate disease, or to select for athleticism or superior intelligence.

That said, scientists aren’t even close to being able to do this. We’re not even close to the point where scientists could safely make the complex changes needed to, for instance, improve intelligence, in part because it involves so many genes. So don’t go dreaming of Gattaca just yet.

“I think the reality is we don’t understand enough yet about the human genome, how genes interact, which genes give rise to certain traits, in most cases, to enable editing for enhancement today,” Doudna said in 2015. Still, she added: “That’ll change over time.”

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