The Dark Side of CRISPR

By Sandy Sufian, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd- In addition to this risk, there is also an as yet undertimed possibility that CRISPR produces unintended changes in non-targeted parts of the genome…

In the case of CRISPR, those choices are complex. CRISPR has many functions; one of these is that it can be used to treat disease. Yet the far-reaching, more fraught promise of this technology—one about which scientists seem at once excited and cautious—lies in its ability to eliminate from the gene pool what medical science identifies as faulty or abnormal genes that cause difference in individual people. Certainly, goes the logic of CRISPR’s promise, the goal of ridding future generations of terrible diseases that cause suffering and death and deplete resources, seems an unquestionable enterprise.

But Doudna herself has recognized that CRISPR carries with it “great risk.” In a New York Times interview on October 22, 2020, she warned of the unknown consequences of embryo editing, cautioning researchers to wait to use CRISPR for these ends.

As disability studies scholars and women with genetic differences who are experts in thinking about the consequences this technology will have for actual human beings, we have grave worries that the use of these “genetic scissors” will, in the future, cut people like us out of existence without others even noticing. Scientists who use CRISPR could see editing genes such as ours out of the gene pool as entirely uncontroversial.

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