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Human Gene Editing—The Devil’s In The Details

Each one of the embryos experimented on by the Oregon researchers was created using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology. This is morally problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which is the troubling fact that these lives were created in a lab for purely experimental purposes. According to the MIT Technology Review, the embryos were only allowed to develop for a few days, presumably before being destroyed. From the outset, the researchers never intended to implant the embryos in a womb. The creation and destruction of life for experimentation can never be morally licit, no matter how promising the results may prove to be for future generations. Yet, this is only one of the many aspects of the Oregon scientists’ research that is concerning. It is also troubling to realize that if scientists have found a way to completely “edit out” a gene from the germline (meaning, the effect will also be realized in the edited individual’s germ cells – either sperm or eggs, depending on his or her sex), then whole genes may eventually be eradicated from future generations, and eventually, our entire human population. (READ MORE)


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