Should we be able to genetically engineer ourselves?


Photo by Courtesy photo

Infographic courtesy of the Materials Research Society at Cambridge University

Written by Atreyu Doll, staff member

For those who don’t know, science has gotten to a point where we can change and switch our DNA. In my biology class, we recently discussed CRISPR, which stands for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology,” according to the Broad Institute’s website. With CRISPR, a way to alter and fix our DNA, we can change things about us at the DNA level. Using genetic engineering, we can change out the rungs of our DNA.

Using this technology, we would be able to change ourselves in ways ranging from eye color to genetic disease. Many people have diseases that have been passed down from generations with no cure, but now we can change that with genetic engineering. We can take out one of the incorrect DNA rungs and replace it with the correct one, taking away your disease, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, and many more.

I think genetically engineering ourselves would be okay if we had restrictions on what we could do. If someone wanted to make sure their baby or themself were healthy, they could use genetic engineering to take out any disease that was passed down. 

The restriction of genetic engineering should be any abnormal physical features like stronger muscle or holding their breath for an hour. The only time I think genetic engineering should be used to change the body to abnormal strengths would be for soldiers.

Genetic engineering should be only for serious emergencies like health issues. I think genetic engineering would be good with restrictions.