Benefits of CRISPR

Photo via Flickr

Jack Garrigus, Editorial Staff

Genetic engineering is a multi-faceted and complex situation that has incurred different reactions from many different people; however, the seemingly unlimited advantages outweigh the negatives.

The words genetic engineering and CRISPR typically invoke a panic attack of designer babies, a modified human race, and playing God. However, one of the main benefits of the CRISPR system would be to eliminate many genetic diseases. If the technology exists that could destroy many genetic disorders, is there really a downside to its use?

Using Africa as an example, by eliminating the sickle cell disease, the mortality rate would rapidly decrease allowing the region to develop much quicker. Another good example is cystic fibrosis, which is a dangerous genetic disease that has no known cure. Use of genetic engineering could eradicate this disease with a few simple edits.

Furthermore, for those parents with a debilitating genetic disease like Huntington’s that fear they will pass it on to their children, that could be cured. Genetic engineering can identify genetic disorders in unborn children, edit out the disease, and ensure that the baby will develop and live a healthy life. These benefits are simply protecting against diseases, not necessarily advancing humanity.

Another way to look at the CRISPR engineering system is a way to improve life. Genetic engineering could allow humans to extend their lifespan, guaranteeing the improvement of society. As the Earth deteriorates, some humans could even be genetically modified to be able to withstand space conditions for a colony on Mars. The positive effects of genetic engineering really are close to infinite. 

There are other benefits of the genetic engineering system that are not directly tied to human mortality. According to a scholarly article from Futurism, CRISPR can help create healthier foods, eliminate dangerous pests, and even possibly resurrect extinct species. These are all very helpful benefits that do not cross any moral lines or play God.

CRISPR is simply another technology that humanity has developed to better serve its purposes. The possible effects of having a healthier population coupled with a lower mortality rate is extremely hard to predict, but a better world is possible. CRISPR should be regulated, but put into use as soon as possible to fix the world we live in.