In one of our previous posts, we mentioned gene editing and how it is becoming a reality for the modern world. Up until now, gene editing for babies was nothing but a rumor. However, according to a recent announcement, the first “human mutant” pregnancy is now real. Chinese doctor He Jiankui helped create the very first genetically edited baby twins to battle the HIV virus.
Why Doctor Jiankui Created Mutant Babies
According to the doctor who ran the experiment, his goal was to outline the possibilities of gene editing. HIV couples who carry the disease have hopes that their babies will have HIV-free lives. Because the virus carries social stigma in China, He Jiankui came up with an idea to edit embryos’ genes to prevent them from allowing the disease. While the experiment seems like a great one, it still carries some questions regarding ethics. Right now, it is up to society regarding whether to accept the practice or reject it.
Genetic Engineering Involves Ethical Concerns
There are a vast number of ethical concerns when it comes to gene editing. There are questions as to how gene editing tools should be used. For one, blending of DNAs can lead to the creation of hybrid creatures, such as hybrids of humans and animals. If this happens, it is not clear how we should treat the new species. Mutants might very likely find themselves being at a minority side of the spectrum. It might be very likely that if transgenic creatures exist, they might suffer more than humans or animals. Also, there are questions regarding who should be allowed to use gene editing tools. Perhaps, the new powerful tool will give special privileges to a certain group of people.
Gene Editing Has a Good Side
Many people claim that crossing species is ungodly and violates many principles. While this is understandable, let us not forget that a dynamic species is nothing new. From the schoolbooks, we learned about morphological, biological, phylogenetic, and evolutionary concepts. So, if you think about it, gene editing is just another evolutionary step that the living world is taking now.