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Disruptive Technology: CRISPR gene editing

Saya Usui

One major technological innovation I see in the horizon that has significant consequences for global society is gene editing using CRISPR. Until the invention of CRISPR, gene editing was extremely expensive and took a long time. However, the invention of CRISPR lower the cost of gene editing by 99%. Also, it takes only a few weeks to complete editing. CRISPR is useful because gene editing by CRISPR can be used to any organisms which have DNA. I think that the innovation of CRISPR has significant consequences for global society and will affect the way we live. CRISPR allows to delete undesired DNA sequences and add desired sequence, which means that scientists can change the DNA to make organism with desired traits.

Gene editing has a lot of impact to our life. Gene editing by CRISPR is used to global healthcare industry, agricultural industry, plant genomics, and animal biotechnology. CRISPR solves the problem of curing chronic and genetic related diseases such as cancer and Huntington disease. Development of gene-edited crops is one of the most prominent application for the gene editing that is used because of the less ethical issues.

However, it has a lot of discussions regarding the ethical issues of the gene editing worldwide. The biggest concerning is that CRISPR may be used to create “designer babies.” We may be able to alter the genome of entire species. Human genetic has a great variation in order to create natural variation among individual human, which makes each of us unique. However, once gene editing become more common, we may try to create “perfect human”, which diminish our human natural variation. As a result, we may be encounter the era that humans have never experienced.

Therefore, I think that gene editing by CRISPR has a lot of positive aspects such as preventing disease and creating efficient agricultural products, which affect our life in a positive way. However, the regulation of gene editing will be a problem and a controversial issue in the future because no one knows the consequences and a danger of gene editing.

(343 words)

Works Cited

Das, Reenita. “Gene Editing With CRISPR-Cas9: The Next Step In Human Evolution Will Be Worth $25 Billion By 2030”. Forbes, December 14, 2017.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2017/12/14/gene-editing-with-crispr-cas9-the-next-step-in-human-evolution-to-be-worth-25-billion-by-2030/#3fd48984449f

Ratner, Paul. “How Genetic Engineering Will Change Our Lives”, Big Think, 2017.

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/how-genetic-engineering-will-change-our-lives

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