Human Genetic Engineering By Rithu Ayhta

How crazy does it sound to modify your baby's genes and make it the way you want it to be? This may all sound like a fantasy right now, but scientists have recently figured out a way to make this technology come true. Changing DNA to modify human embryos can be the face of our future. Human genetic engineering can potentially eliminate any chronic diseases and illness before a child is even born. Imagine every child having the chance to be born healthy without suffering health issues and disabilities, as of right now birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies born, which would approximate 120,000 babies each year (CDC). Therefore, scientists shouldn’t ban gene-editing technology because it can cure genetic diseases, can potentially let us live longer, and eliminate fertility issues for couples.

To enhance our children and get rid of genetic diseases before they are even born is a technology that will change the way future generations will see things. All humans value characteristics like intelligence, strength, and beauty but they don't need these certain traits to live a good life, they need a healthy body with no genetic mutations which could carry disease. Genetic engineering can change the smallest things like eczema so your baby can live worry-free. Even if there is a genetic disease in their family tree, a child has a chance to be born healthy, according to Dr. Miller, “With gene modification, not only can we now make these embryos healthy and allow a healthy child to be born, but this child will no longer have the risk of passing along the abnormal gene. The potential ability to wipe out diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease is incredible” (miller). This evidence points out that a lot of defects can be spotted when a fetal is just growing, to stop diseases from that early on could be vital in the world of health. To put it in another way, any of the deadliest illnesses in a person can leave a human to suffer for years, but if scientists and doctors keep intervening in this new world of science and health combined we might be looking at the next generation of medicine. This specific kind of technology is called CRISPR and offers to promise to cure any genetic disease, according to Clara Rodriguez Fernandez, Cancer, blindness, AIDS, and Huntington's disease are all the major illness that can be caught on very early in the process of developing when the child is still in the stomach, experiments are going on testing these new methods (Fernandez).This indicates that some of the most important clinical trials are running in China which could determine if scientists can get rid of cancer and other major diseases, one of the biggest reasons humans die today is due to cancer in the body parts. If there is a chance of finding a cure to huge diseases like this, scientists should embrace this technology and keep improving their methods instead of banning it.

Doubling a life expectancy isn't something that usually comes handed to an ordinary child, but as generations go on and we further pursue the science of genetic engineering, it might be something we face. Not only will this technology give us a chance to get rid of diseases, but it'll also help us live a longer and more fulfilling life. As time has continued, our lifespans as humans have been getting higher and higher, but why? New technology, vaccines, and other health benefits have kept our immune systems in place, this newer and more advanced technology has concepts we can't even comprehend yet. According to an article done by AAAS, the lifespan of humans depends on the aging of molecules in our body, if scientists can understand how to reprogram this in DNA then they can delay human aging and manipulate the aging process (Can We Genetically Engineer a Longer Life?). Genetic engineering assures us a path that makes sure our species will survive longer and live healthier. As stated earlier, changing our cells to create a more resilient aging process can benefit us by extending our lifetime which was considered impossible previously. Although aging is a brutal process to some, it can be completely fine to others, it's all how you treat your body and how your genetics are. However, if we cancel our genetics from the equation, then we won't face certain diseases and illnesses that also stunt us to have a shorter life. As insane as it sounds, the lifespan of an individual might reach two hundred years all due to this new branch of science. As a matter of fact, Genetic engineering could change the future, instead of banning this medical advancement, we should pursue it.

Infertility is a horrible experience that no couple should go through. Genetic engineering however, can significantly reduce the stress of going through this process. According to a study done by NIH, “About 9% of men and about 11% of women of reproductive age in the United States have experienced fertility problems.” (Copen). Human genetic engineering could completely stop this issue, the parents wouldn't need to worry about infertility because any sperm and egg combination can be edited to match. Not to mention that with fertility rates being lower than ever, genetic engineering can be a way to keep our population in check. A lot of the families want children and don't want to adopt, this positive alternative can give them a life they dreamed of. Many parents are concerned about their children and how genetic diseases can affect them. “How is this process even safe”, despite the fact that this may look unsafe and complicated, it's quite simple. If scientists tweak reproductive cells to match, children can be mated and also get rid of unfavorable genes that they get from generation after generation (Gene Therapy and Genetic Engineering). By doing so, scientists can give this opportunity to everyone around us, life can be so much easier, and nobody needs to go through the struggle of losing a child as well as being not able to make one. Everyone wants to see a kid be born to live a regular life and have no worries about medical issues and genetic mutations, with genetic engineering by their side they won't go through physical mental pain. If genetic engineering can lead to these amazing medical advancements like creating a family and allowing a kid to have a healthy body, we shouldn't ban this revolutionary technology.

On the other hand, Many people have concerns about this new science and the safety behind it is threatening people. Loads of people look at the downside of this particular topic and argue that it’s not safe to change cells and meddle with the human body. Especially since scientists still don’t know a whole lot about this new type of gene editing process. Along with the fact that it can completely change the results of what they are aiming at, but that’s where a lot of people go wrong. Fruits, vegetables, and all sorts of farm-grown produce are GMO grown and nobody is complaining about eating the perfect strawberries and the huge avocados. When the public looks at the big picture, genetic engineering has already happened, so why should it stop, according to Brian Armstrong “In 2018, He Jiankui created the first genetically modified babies in China” (Armstrong). As the world goes on to find newer and more innovative ways to make “designer babies”, Americans should catch up with the future and see what it brings. The complete potential to eradicate illness and bring human suffering to an all-time low.

All things considered, the modification of human embryos could open an entirely new world of science. With genetic engineering on our side we no longer have to worry about mental health and physical health. Apart from saving lives and assuring the public to give them a disease-free baby, scientists can also minimize mental stress by providing infertile parents with hope to give them a child. Parents and their kids will no longer need to depend on the “genetic lottery” when the fetal is being formed. By making this technology available to humans, scientists could create history and expand the life of future generations to come.


Works Cited

AAAS. 17 July 2020, science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6501/325.

Armstrong, Brian. "The Pros and Cons of Genetically Engineering Humans." Medium, 6 Oct. 2019, medium.com/@barmstrong/the-pros-and-cons-of-genetically-engineering-humans-49973778c349.

CDC. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/facts.html#:~:text=Every%204%20%C2%BD%20minutes%2C%20a,by%20birth%20defects%20each%20year. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Copen, Chandra. "How Common Is Infertility?" NIH, www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility/conditioninfo/common#:~:text=About%209%25%20of%20men%20and,States%20have%20experienced%20fertility%20problems.&text=In%20one%2Dthird%20of%20infertile,both%20the%20man%20and%20woman. Accessed 8 Oct. 2018.

Labiotech.eu. www.labiotech.eu/crispr/crispr-technology-cure-disease/.

Miller, Keith. "16 Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Genetic Engineering." Future of Working, futureofworking.com/6-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-human-genetic-engineering/.

School of Medicine. medicine.missouri.edu/centers-institutes-labs/health-ethics/faq/gene-therapy#:~:text=Arguments%20in%20Favor%20of%20Gene%20Therapy%20and%20Genetic%20Engineering&text=The%20main%20arguments%20in%20its,predisposed%20them%20to%20those%20problems.


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