Amy Yunning Wang/ Portola HS 10th Grade
In today‘s society, we enjoy the freedom to choose our dinner, cars, and even the type of friends we want. Now, with the advancement of technology, some can even choose the type of baby they want.
CRISPR is a newly developed technology that can do just this for you. Discovered in the early 1990s and first used in biochemical experiments several years later, it quickly became the most popular gene editing tool in biology, agriculture, and microbiology.
Even able to cure genetic diseases and help speed up drug research, CRISPR was used by scientists to modify genes to change specific parts of DNA (in attempts to eliminate diseases like diabetes and cystic fibrosis).
While there are many benefits to this technology, there are some scientists who are worried about the ethical practice of modifying human genes.
As technology gets more advanced, scientists now have found a way to edit a baby’s DNA to make them the way their parents want. In December 2018, a Chinese doctor called He Jiankui successfully modified an immune system gene in a human embryo and transferred the embryo into their mother‘s womb. Shortly after, public debates contemplating the morality of designer babies became popular.
Scientists believe that the technology used is only in the experimental stage, so changing genes for an embryo might cause many problems. Some believe that designer babies will bring about positive impact as they are free from genetic diseases.
However, I believe that designer babies might cause many issues later on. It will create a huge gap in society with the wealthy being able to choose the most good-looking and intelligent children, widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
As this keeps going, there might even be classes that distinguish designer babies from those that are not.
While the technology of editing genes to choose the type of baby one wants still needs many improvements, we need to consider its impact before it becomes popularized.
It might create many problems such as gene disorders and a huge gap between social classes which will result in two extreme types of people.
<Amy Yunning Wang/ Portola HS 10th Grade