The damaged DNA; during the process, the designed sgRNA

The alternation
of genes application doesn’t just apply to crops, but it also extends to modifying
humans’ genes to benefit humankind by treating diseases that affect the human
body function. When the human’s DNA double helix was discovered years ago, gene
editing technologies, each one with a specific feature were developed to serve
certain purpose. However, the latest technology, CRISPR-Cas9, enabled genome engineering
to move to the next level; as it’s easy to use and efficient compared to other DNA
manipulating technologies that already exist. CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced
palindromic repeat) consist of a RNA, single guide RNA(sgRNA), that was
engineered from two RNAs, tracrRNA and crRNA. The sgRNA is the link between enzyme
Cas9 and the target DNA strands to be cut by the enzyme; the sgRNA 3′ binds to the
enzyme Cas9, while the 5′ side binds to the target DNA site. CRISPR-Cas9 technology
is implemented in humans when a certain gene in the DNA of interest needs action,
sgRNA is designed in the lab specifically for that gene, and Cas9 enzyme execute
the mission to cut the target DNA stands at the gene location. After the gene
is cut, the cell will initiate a process to repair the damaged DNA; during the
process, the designed sgRNA will be introduced to the DNA leading to changes in
the gene. The CRISPR-Cas9 is not limited to humans, but it is also used in
agriculture. For example, wheat contains gluten proteins which causes intestine
pain for people who are intolerance to gluten; by using CRISPR-Cas9, wheat was genetically
edited to be gluten free.

 

The use of
genome editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 have enabled changes into
human’s genes, which resulted positively in understanding and curing complex
diseases as heart diseases. In fact, in late 2017, the technology was used for
the first time on alive patient to cure the rare genetic syndrome, hunter
disease, which leaves the person unable to break down carbohydrates. However,
with this gene editing advantageous technology, scientists went further and
applied CRISPR-Cas9 beyond curing diseases to refine the genes of a sperm and
egg to have specific traits of children and be free of genetic diseases.

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Editing genes
for an egg and sperm is an unethical use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, since it changes
how humans are born naturally with their ancestor genes. Furthermore, every
person has unique traits that separate him or her from others; using germline
genome editing, will reduce the diversity people is for used for long periods. If
the use of germline editing technology become traditional, the cost for using
it could be expensive; affordable for some people, not the poor. However, gene
editing should be restricted to cure diseases of the somatic cells; even if the
genes changed, they will not pass into next generation.

  

In conclusion,
GMOs do promote the common good by enabling crops to fight diseases and stay
healthy to provide food supplies for the rising human population; without it,
people might face severe food shortages that would lead to people’s death. In
addition, GMOs aid in maintaining the earth organisms to be used by the next
generations; this is a fundamental aspect of the theocentric ecological ethics.

Humans gene editing benefit the humankind to cure diseases easily that are
considered very hard to achieve. However, GMOs may still receive criticism from
different groups; nevertheless, it’s safe to be consumed.