The DNA revolution gives scientists the power of rewriting the genetic code in humans, animals and plants. Darwin only observed the course of evolution: we can change it now.


Should we use the power to hack and edit DNA?


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Please try to be as concrete as possible when answering the questions, the more in depth you go the more impactful your ideas will be!



Votes: 2

First, let's forget Darwin. If his theory is right, we should just let Natural Selection work, why should we help the weak? is there any reason for that? you might say humanity and some ethics, but why do you believe in humanity? why change the code of life to 'interfere' with evolution and help the unadaptable that the Natural Selection wants to get rid of? that could just backfire. For the record I believe we should help, we should struggle to help the weak, to feed the hungry, we should do everything in our power and knowledge to protect and care for humanity and our planet. Let's just imagine this. We have approximately 3 BILLION base pairs in our DNA (Base Pair = A, T, C or G, so we have 3 billion letters in our code). Only about 1% of these letters code for a protein. Right now most of our knowledge is about that 1%, we study proteins a lot. We can just guess about the other 99%. That is unknown territory. DNA is far more complex than just those 4 letters, it's not binary coding. You simply cannot just copy paste when you want, what you want and where you want. The 'successful' experiments you see in media are something they obtained after numerous trials and errors. Besides these 4 letters there are inactivation or activation of certain DNA regions that affect the function, these for example happen when a simple methyl group (CH3) attaches to the DNA, changes the function without changing the sequence. Editing is not just copy paste. There is no such power right now, the power to rewrite the genetic code in humans. If it would exist, there would be no cancer. We still have a long way to go. I can't speak for animals and plants because I have not studied it in detail and it would be ignorant to just throw unjustified opinions. I can speak for humans and I truly hope there would be a strong institution regulating the experiments because it's scary to imagine how much harm it could be done but it's amazing to think how much we could improve some lives. I live you with this thought, there are pairs of identical twins, same DNA at the start, one of the develops schizophrenia the other doesn't, one develops cancer, the other doesn't. The code of life it's not everything, environment and probably other things we are yet to find out dictate the outcome.

Votes: 11

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Votes: 9

Short answer: Yes.... Long answer: human genetic modification (i.e. the modification of humans) must follow certain rules - 1) For the betterment of health. 2) not for frivolous reasons. These should be the core tenets of human genetic modification. Any possible GM treatment must go through the same review process as drugs go through so that we can assess the safety and viability of each separate treatment. But as a general rule: if we have the ability to cure a disease, then we should do so... As for agricultural and animal GM: as we saw recently with Monsanto, some companies may attempt to mislead the EU parliament and the public, which is why it is not enough that the companies carry out studies on their products, but the EU must hire its own researchers to carry out screening on every new GM product! Also, we must fund GMO development through non-private means as well, so we can produce non patented means of producing GMOs which can be used to start smaller GM companies. We must recognise that our current, overly restrictive laws hav created market barriers for small GM start-ups which are unfai and have made the GM market one ruled by an oligopoly. We must combat such anti-competitive systems and thus I suggest that we fund, not only public research, but also give subsidies to small GM firms an interfere in attempts of their hostile takeovers. Also we must ease the market barriers to the GM market. These are things we must do to make the GM market a competitive market. This competition will force companies like Monsanto to become more reactive to the wishes of the public... As a rule I am NOT against the genetic modification of our food aources nor the modification of other products e.g. cotton.... IN CONCLUSION: We must ensure that human modification is not frivolous but for the betterment of health. That treatment and food GMOs, especially, are tested for our safety. Their environmental impacts must so be assessed over long periods of time. We must make the GM market more competitive.

Votes: 12

Yes. If there is a way to remove the suffering we should do it. There is potencial in genetically personalized medical threatment and pharmacy. We could select embryos to remove genetical deceases. Growing tube organs is also promising. When it comes to imrovment of human performance much more and faster could be done with imprving food quality and avaiability, having more balanced lifestyle, and more supportive and stimulating society. We could experiment with fauna and flora DNA to have agral products more suitable for our needs.

Votes: 9