International Panel Warns Us to Tap the Brakes on Gene Editing, but That Wont Stop Us

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Disasters are mostly by definition unavoidable, but we can often take basic steps to mitigate the damage such as not building in flood zones are on top of major faultlines mitigating manmade disasters. Hand is almost entirely avoidable, but quite often we don't because we're victims of our own ideologies and collective pride. For example, last week a panel of genetics experts issued a direct and stark warning against editing genes of human embryos that are destined for implantation. The panel, which consists of experts from ten different countries was jointly convened by the US National Academy of Medicine the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society. The present state of gene editing said, the panel's report is simply too risky for both individual embryos and the human race as a whole while technologies such as Christopher are fairly precise and targeting and editing certain genes. They wrote recent ventures have demonstrated that fairly precise isn't. Good enough for instance, when researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London US crisper recently to edit eighteen human embryos in order to study the role of a particular gene in the early stages of human development about a half of those embryos contain what they called quote major unintended at it. Now, that phrase is a euphemism for harmful mutations and genetic damage, the kind that could lead. To birth defects and even life threatening medical problems like cancer and not to mention could permanently enter the gene pool to other studies were also cited in the same report and one researchers attempted to correct gene mutation that causes blindness in the other the attempt was to prevent certain heart defects. However, researchers found that in both experiments, a significant percentage of the treated embryos suffered chromosomal damage one. Genetics expert described these failures this way if human embryo editing for reproductive purposes, germline editing were spaceflight. This new data would be the equivalent of having the rocket exploded at the launch pad before takeoff. Still once again, this new report focus only on the technical failures of gene editing. Once again, any discussion or even any acknowledgement of the many ethical questions inherent to this very idea of. Gene editing were completely avoided. So now and what's become far too typical of the scientific culture of our age in which philosophy ethics are completely divorced from technology and science research proceeds with an ethical framework of utilitarianism built on a philosophy of scientism or to put it more. Simply gene editing will continue because you know scientists are only real hope to solve problems and if we can do. Something we should, and so even though this panel admits that it could be years before the technical difficulties of gene editing are ironed out experiments will continue and should continue though quote initially limited to serious genetic disorders that are caused by DNA variants and a single gene and should be used quote on when the alternatives for having a biologically related child that is unaffected by the genetic. Disorder are poor. Look Scientific. hubris is indeed a very tough train to stop certainly an international panel of experts admitting that gene editing dangerous and unnecessary but we should proceed anyway as long as it's with caution that's not going to stop any eager scientists around the world, much less the governments and corporations who are funding them. Now, the sincere desire to eradicate dangerous diseases including genetic diseases understandable. It's even noble. The longing to heal is just a reflection of God's image in US ethically sound and medically safe treatment should always be pursued but we should never proceed without a full awareness of the human temptation to become like God is genesis three puts it determining good and evil after all couples are already genetically screening donor sperm to create designer babies and governments like China have. Already. Demonstrated their willingness to experiment on entire ethnic groups we are a world and too often h church that proceeds with the most invasive and inhumane technologies without adequate or in some cases any serious ethical reflection now, there is still time to prevent the potential manmade catastrophe of gene editing time itself however won't be enough unless we have the will to say,

Coming up next