Tuesday, 5 May 2015

WORLD FIRST! Genetically modified human embryos!

Genetically modified human embryos. Is that going too far? It seems that support has risen in favour of using genetic modification to cure genetic diseases. I'm sure you've heard by now what I'm talking about, a team in China used a method called CRISPR/Cas9 to edit the genome of human embryos. Watch this video for a better understanding of how CRISPR/Cas9 works (and heck, the video's pretty).

The embryos were donated and permission was given for them to be used for this purpose, and the study complied with ethical regulations. There are a lot of people out there who don't agree we should be genetically modifying anything, but they tend to be people who don't know much about it and they assume it's bad because big bad money driven companies are using it for their own benefit. What do you think? Should we be doing this in human cells? Being capable of doing this also raises another ethical question - designer babies. Will it get that far? Could it be regulated so that it's only used against diseases? What other potential problems will come up though? There are so many more questions that need to be answered, and for now, I think we're doing the right thing, we're not getting ahead of ourselves yet.

25th April was World DNA Day to celebrate when Watson, Crick, and Franklin, and a few other men, published papers on the structure of DNA. It was also World Penguin Day so fun fact; penguins are black and white like that for camouflage in the water, from above they blend it with the dark water, and from underneath in the water, it just looks like a reflection of the sun!

Hope you found this interesting! Let me know if you'd like to see more science here :) 

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