New "Editing" Tech Could Permanently Alter the Human Gene Pool Forever
“We could be on the cusp of a new era in human history,” said Dr. David Baltimore of the California Institute of Technology as an opener to his talk at a recent conference in Washington on the field of genetic alteration.
Why? Because the process of gene “editing” and “tweaking” is not only getting easier and easier these days, but the technology is getting cheaper. All of it is moving at a faster pace than laws, rules, regulations, and ethics considerations can keep up with. We have already passed the moment where the lines between science fiction and science fact have blurred to the point that the definition of the word “reality” in the dictionary is going to need a complete overhaul.
Before you say I’m being too dramatic, let me explain.
This technology has the potential to forever alter the human gene pool or germline, thus permanently altering the DNA a parent passes to a child. Forever. While some people will argue that’s great for eradicating disease or even making humans who can run faster or jump higher, the truth is these scientists cannot say with 100% certainty that this won’t have any disastrous side effects in the form of unintended consequences (those consequences being the start of many a science fiction horror movie where everything quickly descends to Hell in a handbasket).
For example, NBC News pointed out that some babies who have undergone gene therapy to cure rare inherited immune system disorders have ended up with leukemia because of the therapy. Babies with blood cancer. Great. One horrible health problem begetting another. But hey, at least that rare gene issue is all cleared up!
And that is likely just the tip of the iceberg here… Think GMO foods, superbugs, superweeds, long-term, widespread negative health effects, and the eradication of heirloom seed lines…
Now think all of that and possibly more in humans.
And while the White House is calling for a voluntary moratorium on human germline editing, something that has actually been legally banned in the EU, scientists everywhere including in America are going full steam ahead anyway into the dystopic Gattaca future of designing supermen and so-called “perfect babies” with little consideration of not just the short- but the long-term (and likely permanent) consequences.
Chinese researchers announced earlier this year that they had genetically altered human embryos for the first time. The UK approved three-parent embryos which will pass down permanently altered traits to offspring. DARPA is working on genetically engineered people with a 47th chromosome. The list goes on and on.
The reality, however, is that if these are the examples we are being told about, who knows what is actually going on in the underground world of the breakaway civilization, black budgets, and dark science.
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