Scientific Report Gives OK to Move Forward with Human Gene-EditingsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #science7 years ago (edited)

Twenty-two lawyers, ethicists, and researchers got together and published a 300 page report yesterday, where they decided that human germline editing should not be prohibited, green-lighting the development of regulations to cover how and when to apply genetic engineering.


In January, a paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine by three researchers argued that it's time to consider using stem cells swabbed from cheeks to grow human eggs and sperm and create a human being. This is called vitro gametogenesis (IVG). It's already been done with mice.


The CRISPR Cas9 technique for gene-editing makes it possible to target a specific region of the DNA, then add, replace or remove genes. This will provide a lot of possibility to treat diseases. Genetically heritable diseases could be prevented from passing onto offspring.

Gene editing is already being used. Cells that were gene-edited were used to kill cancer cells in two children with leukemia. This is becoming more popular, to save lives. But many people want to "self-direct" their so-called "evolution" towards "enhancements" and even seek immortality in their fear of death.

There is a push for genetic modification to be permanent, and replicate through successive generations, which would permanently alter what it is to be human, for better or worse. Some justifications to do this are based on healing diseases, and some are based on deluded insecurities of not being satisfied with being human. Some people want more than "just" being human, they want to be "post-human".

All of this talk of genetic modification taking place in humans used to be relegated to science fiction in movies like Gattaca, where the accepted way of reproduction was through being grown in the lab, like in the book Brave New World. These "purer" more "evolved" humans were called VALID and could apply for any job they wanted.

Gattaca, 1997

Those that were "natural" born were looked down upon in society, and called IN-VALID as they were not specifically tailored and modified for extra intelligence, extra strength, extra lifespan and much else that was added and modified as not being part of the original natural genetic construct of that individual.

Gattaca, 1997

Gattaca is a play on the AGTC genetic bases in DNA. If you were a "natural" born and IN-VALID, then you couldn't work in anything of higher intellectual requirements beyond being a manual laborer.

Gattaca, 1997

We didn't have to used to think about what we thought was impossible. But now the technology is catching up with our imagination and ideas, and making what was once only possible in our minds, into a reality.

There are risks when we start to tinker with things that we don't understand the implications of down the road, in the long term. We are modifying what we are as humans.

Are we even responsible enough to be doing this? Technological evolution requires a parallel development of higher moral awareness, or else we become our own worst enemies.

Companies can even own the "rights" to specific gene-editing methods.

What happens when you receive copyrighted gene editing? Does part of you belong to them? Are you not allowed to modify it without their consent?

What if companies can even create enhanced genes and patent them? Do they then own a part of you outright? Are there going to be taxes on "modifications" to heal, or "enhancements"?

Think about the movie Repo Men, where they would go repossess artificial body parts from those who failed to keep up with their payments.

Repo Men, 2010

Before we even get to all of that as an actual reality, we need to employ a proper moral understanding of what we are even doing.

For now, there are still problems such as creating a mix of treated and untreated cells when gene-editing is performed. This is a common problem that occurs in mice studies. The report concludes that more research is required before a green-light is passed on germline-editing of humans. They want to minimize the risks and weigh them up against any benefits.

Risk management is something that is done with insurance companies and in society as a whole. It could be that they determine the possible risks and accept a certain margin of error like our insurance companies and governments do in setting criteria for what is safe and acceptable.

Many other companies do this as well in their cost analysis of defective parts or problematic products. They analyze how much it would cost in settlements through the court compared to how much it would cost to recall the product.

The same can be done with germline editing and the modification of humanity. If they determine the benefits outweigh the costs, and that they are within a certain acceptable statistical margin of error, then it will be sold as "safe".

The report says that the public must have a say in whether this goes forward. But this gives little comfort when we understand how public opinion can be shaped towards accepting an agenda. They say they aren't in favor of enhancing people, or creating designer babies. At least not yet... so they "say".


It's a slippery slope from using this to heal people, into using this to "enhance" people. The same cheating happens in our current lives with drugs, where people are so fixated on enhancing themselves that they take drugs to modify their body to "perform" better.

Where the treatment ends and the enhancement begins, can be blurred. Where is the cutoff?

The senior author, Robin Lovell-Badge, says:

“We may need to modify aspects of our physiology to adapt to climate change, but that’s being speculative. We’re not saying it should never be done – but not now.”

Boy oh boy! Have you been following some of my work on the global climate change ideology being used to justify taxation and fleecing the wealth of the common people? Now we have climate change as a justification for genetic modification of humanity in order to "survive"... scary stuff.

Gradualism is a tool that is employed in social engineering. If it's not accepted now, it can be latter through a gradual process of influence.

Getting people to accept the initial gene-editing for medical procedures and treating of illnesses and diseases is something that can be done more easily. They will present themselves as not pushing for further modification or enhancement of humans (and maybe even present themselves as being against it). But down the line this will come up and will be more accepted because we will have already accepted gene-editing in some capacity and will be infatuated with the benefits it's providing. Accepting more of what we see as "good" will be easy.

We can easily be lulled into tacitly accepting further deregulation and restrictions upon gene editing, eventually leading to human cloning, and other modifications like creating X-Men "mutants" with powers, or who knows what.


Thank you for your time and attention! I appreciate the knowledge reaching more people. Take care. Peace.

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2017-02-16, 8am


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Indeed, it can be used for such, forgot all about that. Thanks for the great addition!

Thank you @krnel :)
CRISPR is one of those topics I've been watching, it is so far reaching and awesome (and I mean awesome in the way my dictionaries explain it, not how I meant it all of my ignorant life).

In case you didn't see it in the comment I left below, I want to mention a great lady who often speaks of CRISPR, should you be wanting more mad scientist news.

My genetic cellular biology 101 classes my professor made us watch Gattaca and write an artical on junk genes and unintended consequences . He was the lead researcher at the University of Oregon's cancer research program, he also taught at the community college I attended after he quit his job to care for his terminally ill wife. Awesome guy, I got a letter of recommendation when I transferred to a university. My area of strength was research and ethics in my nursing program. We don't know enough about these so called junk genes and epigenetics. That is how our environment and the interplay of sleeping genes express themselves when stressed. My professor was very concerned over the science of genetically modified organisms And unintended consequences.

Yup, arrogance (making a claim to possess something you don't) leads many to be fools in thinking they can "rightly" do something that isn't right to do to begin with. No one possesses the "right" to engage in such acts to reshape the foundations of who are are.


Aye, the desire to see what is possible, and then do the impossible, will always trump the fear of "Should we?"

I say burn the shoulds. Burn the fear.

Have the courage to explore every possibility, no matter what.
If we want dinosaurs, then we shall have dinosaurs.
If we want nuclear power, then we shall have nuclear power.
If we want genetic enhancements, then we shall have genetic enhancements.

To try, succeed, and then learn from a mistake is greater than to do nothing and learn nothing.

If we never defied your fearful respect of "Should we?", we'd still be living in the trees, as mud covered apes.

Courage is the only path we can take, when it comes to technological revolution.

If it is possible, then we must explore that path, in the name of courage, discovery, invention, and outright scientific madness.

We are all going to hell - first class ticket. You know there was hope maybe that we would not mess with this but now i think humanity is facing dire times. Welcome to the world of Atlantis all over again.. to think we would have learned from that. Great article, but don't like the ruling. God Bless us and good luck.

What a world.

Where the normal people look down on the enhanced people, for the same reason they fear the enhanced will look down on the normal people.

What I think could happen is that the enhanced people will be smart enough to not look down on anyone, and will instead go about doing useful things with their lives, and find their own purpose.

Normal people will pretend to not be jealous, while saying "The enhanced people are immoral scum of the earth! Genetically altered demons, to destroy our humanity and essence!"

Then they'll insert a bunch of religious bullshit, and have a holocaust against the enhanced people.

The enhanced people will be burned, and the normal people will continue to have their wars, their oppression, their ignorance, and laugh gleefully as they burn anything that doesn't conform.

Jealousy is just as pathetic as anger.

I say, have courage.

Only use FOSGE products.

That's Free-Open-Source-Genetic-Enhancements.

Don't let corporations own you.
Own your own genes, and modify them how you see fit, with your own CRISPR machine. You control your own destiny.

I feel people should be free to make decisions for themselves, I'd hope they would be well informed.

When it comes to gene editing, and other body altering/enhancing technologies, I'm going to quote one of the most informed people I know of on the subject and say "you don't want to go 1.0".

I should also mention:

Yeah, I can for sure see the dangers in being v1.0.

But still, that's no reason to just go full panic and label it as evil or something.

It's just technology that we need, seeing as human evolution is nullified. Not enough people die for us to really advance in any meaningful way.

Well-educated people breed less, while dumbfucks breed more. That's just how it is. And that will lead to a terrible thing in 3000 years or whatever, ya know?

Gotta enhance, or face extinction. Imagine our descendant:
"Durrrr, wat's a compoooter derp?"

They won't even know how to "turn it off, and then on again", seeing as only idiots breed plentifully.

So that's why we gotta enhance. We just gotta.

Great read, thanks a lot! Have a look on one of our recent debates on the topic and let me know if you would be interested in debating this topic on Thanks again for sharing!

How to ensure future gradualism won't entice people to accept aesthetic and "enhancement" justifications to broaden it's use? An inviolable law? LOL. It's just going to go there, so many people think of this already. Those who have more awareness will be drowned in the favor of self-interested people who are short-sighted and don't see the long-term of what this will do to us. I know the laws will change, because people want this.

I'm just saying what needs to be said and maybe more people comprehend the danger of changing who we genetically are. We aren't mature and wise enough to be doing this as a species. I'm not an expert in this. I only relate it to my knowledge of psychology, philosophy and morality. Thanks for the feedback.

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