The world’s first genetic modification of human embryos raised more moral questions than it answered. Will this be a feasible thing in the Brave New world of the future.
In China, the genetic modification of human embryos has already taken place. This was for a beta-thalassaemia gene. And although the change has been achieved for the medical betterment of individuals in the future, the moral side of the equation remains unbalanced.
The gene that got twisted out of shape or deleted would have led to a terminal illness among the embryos. Thus it was a sort of service to humanity and a cause for celebration. But instead the Pandora’s box of conundrums and misgivings that got opened up were simply too much to take.
The procedure involved gene editing, one of the latest innovations in genetic engineering. Over 86 embryos were treated and out of them 71 managed to pull through. About 54 of these were genetically tested and from these only 28 were proven to have lost that particularly harmful gene in the process.
An even smaller number managed to take to the replacement genetic substance that was injected to take the place of the deleterious genes. Thus you can well see that this biotechnology is still in its infancy.
There are still hurdles in the practical application of this methodology of disease prevention. The method has yet to be perfected and honed to a razor blade. And while the researchers who carried out the praxis did not use embryos that would make it into this world, the whole scenario stinks of Frankenstein’s Monster Revisited.
Designer babies are not in accordance with everyone’s taste, least of all the individuals of the more traditional societies on the planet. Most thinkers who have pondered over the matter offer infinite precaution as a basic rule of thumb.
While science and scientists may get carried away in their enthusiasm for the unknown, the fact was that they ought to think twice before they proceeded with the whole thing. The mere alteration of genetic material in embryos will probably cause shockingly unforeseen effects among them as adults.
This in fact opens the grotesque vision of the creation of monsters such as a Sphinx or a Gargoyle in the near future. If man tries to play the role of the Creator, it could result in some very nasty by-products.
While experimenting on animals or Nature was slightly disturbing, it could be tolerated for the sake of the benefits it brought into the lap of humanity. But to put humans beneath the microscope was a surefire method of inviting in evil and psychopathy on a scale hitherto unthought of by the most perverted minds.
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