Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Readings will be posted here. This is also where you will write most forum posts. If you aren't sure which readings are required, just check the schedule.
lksalinero
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:01 pm

Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby lksalinero » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:30 pm

This episode of the podcast Radiolab that explains CRISPR, its potential uses, and ethical concerns surrounding its use: http://www.radiolab.org/story/antibodies-part-1-crispr/

Here’s an approximate breakdown of when various topics are discussed:

0:00 – 12:00 ← discovery and origins of CRISPR (including fun sound effects and a no-prior-knowledge-required explanation of its function)
12:00 – 14:00 ←how CRISPR can be used in people
20:00 – end ← ethics of gene editing

Please also read CRISPR, the disruptor (PDF version). Forum posts can address either the podcast or the article (or both).

User avatar
ShawnMiller
Site Admin
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby ShawnMiller » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:20 pm

A number of questions occurred to me while doing the reading.

Resources


Partial Cast of Characters (from reading)


Philosophical Issues and Questions

  • CRISPR is said to "democratize" science because it is cheaper than other methods of gene editing. Is lowering the cost of something the same as introducing democratic values, e.g., if the cost of caviar goes down, has cuisine been democratized?
  • CRISPR is a more versatile genetic toolkit than the ones developed for model organisms such as mice and fruit flies. This allows editing of the genes of many other organisms. What might be the drawbacks of this?
  • What is the relationship between understanding how a tool (CRISPR) works and how to use it or understand its results? Bo Huang brings up this issue.
  • In both the podcast and reading, the genetic cuts that CRISPR makes are sometimes portrayed as highly accurate (0.1% off target) and at other times as unpredictable (60% off target), e.g., "These enzymes will cut in places other than the places you have designed them to cut, and that has lots of implications" (21). How do we think profitably about technologies such as CRISPR when such a crucial feature is, apparently, unknown (or imperfectly undetstood)?
  • CRISPR is portrayed as useful for GMOs because it avoids the contentious issue of mixing DNA from different species. Should that be a difference we care about? Is "editing" genes better or less worrying than "mixing" them? The idea that it is seems to make assumptions about how dangerous or unpredictable the results of the two types of techniques are.
  • CRISPR is held out as a possible way to eradicate disease and invasive plants. Is it possible to define an "invasive" species without making the type of normative decisions Lloyd brings up, this time about what is native vs. non-native to an ecosystem?
  • One risk-reward heuristic/concept George Church brings up is that CRISPR-style genetic editing "has to have a fairly high pay-off, because it has a risk of irreversibility." But don't gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR erase/destroy the concept of irreversibility? If genes can (in principle) be edited/modified with high accuracy, can't we always undo what we do? (Church also brings this up when he invokes reverse engineering.)

twilliams
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby twilliams » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:11 pm

Call me a Luddite (not like I'm going to deny it), but this really gets my really uneasy for the reasons described in the podcast. Bottom line is that I know this is going to get even cheaper, more efficient, and therefore more commonplace. Nothing is going to stop that, but that doesn't mean there are not possible repercussions that could harm us as a species.

I think putting human beings in the driver seat of our evolution is bound to fail for the same reason most economists agree that markets work. I'll try to sum this up quick: basically most economists will agree that trying to control prices instead of letting the market decide is a bad idea, because there are too many factors involved in the economy, that not even the best economist can predict what the price of something should be. Something is going to be overlooked, and as a result, regulating a price is going to produce unintended economic consequences.

If we can change the DNA of a person before they are born, we can affect human evolution, as was discussed in the podcast. It seems highly unlikely to me that we (as a species) can make smart decisions about how our evolution is going to go. There are too many factors involved about societal and environmental pressures, that we cannot consider and evaluate them all; somethings are going to be overlooked, and poor decisions are going to be made as a result. I’m not talking making sure your kid is not born with a disease, because I get that; I’m talking about thing such as a height and brain function.

Most people would seem it is pretty intuitive to want your kid to be smart, right? Well, if a lot of people have their kids engineered to be geniuses with eidetic memories, think about what that would do to the labor market. A lot of “normal-born” people are going to be screwed out of a job because they can’t compete with that, even if they are relatively smart. So those people will have kids that are engineered as geniuses, and the whole cycle repeats. Whoever was not from a lineage that had some modification in it is going to be stigmatized in some way, because the standards of what being “good” at something means is going to change higher.

I can go on and on, but my bottom line is that nature seems to be really good at that “natural selection” thing, so I think we should let it do its job. But we won’t because human society doesn’t work that way. And that’s the end of my rant.

uwogisele
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:50 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby uwogisele » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:20 pm

"What is the relationship between understanding how a tool (CRISPR) works and how to use it or understand its results? Bo Huang brings up this issue?"


I think this is an interesting question, because (CRISPR) is being used but scientists don’t know fully how it works. Because a lot scientists raised different questions about it throughout the article, and some of these questions are: what if it replaces a cell gene but does another damage that we can’t see or we won’t know about, or what if “enzymes will cut in places other than the places you have designed”? Something that’s clear in the reading is that “most people” know to use it, because as they said in the article CRISPR “is cheap, quick, easy to use”, a person doesn’t have to be a scientist to use it. Scientists so far know how to use it, but they don’t yet how it works (they don’t know the replication of modifying one thing), and they don’t understand to the full extent its results (the result of a given modification). I said to the “full extent” because they may know that one of the results is a removed sickle-cell gene, but there may be other “results” of the replacement that they don’t know and that they didn’t anticipate.
I agree with what the article said at the end, “it’s in the exploration stage, these ideas need to ferment”. CRISPR may be an exciting tool that most scientists are using but there is still more to learn about it!

JustinN
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:17 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby JustinN » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:25 pm

Overall, I think this is good news for the field of genetic engineering. As we said in class, some traits and diseases are controlled by singular genes but more complex traits are influenced by a multitude of genes. I think that the arrival of CRISPR system puts humans in reach of controlling those simple genes that have specific functions but just out of reach of the more complex ones. However, there is an inconsistency of target accuracy that's probably a result of scientists not accounting for differences in the molecular makeups of different species. I agree with the article's point that we are still in the exploration stage of this technology.

euriekim
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:54 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby euriekim » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:48 pm

The article was a bit frightening to me. Sure, CRISPR could have great benefits and go on to achieve great things in the field of biology, but it can also easily and rapidly ruin ecosystems and organisms. In the future, I would hope that the general public or even just scientists would be able to vote on whether or not to use CRISPR and just really think hard about the potential outcomes that could occur. I was already thinking and worrying about how CRISPR could affect populations of organisms and ecosystems before they mentioned anything about it. Sure, it would be great to rid the world of threats against the human population, like malaria or disease-carrying ticks, but it would cause a great imbalance on Earth if we started wiping out all organisms that are threats to us. Also, how will we define whether or not something is a threat to humanity? Personally, I feel like this is all just unnatural and we shouldn't mess with nature or tweak it in our favor, but I hope scientists are exploring CRISPR with caution and keeping in mind of what it could potentially do to organisms and the world.

Bowen Tan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby Bowen Tan » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:19 pm

It is a mind-blowing technology among genetic scientists. But from the view of food supplies and human nutrition, it is not such a pleasant thing. Because there is lack of sufficient regulations to protect consumers from the threaten of modified food. Although it is different from the GMOs as the aspect of methods, there might be interactions between the mutated gene and the other. It is not such a easy way to handle even the crop's genome, sometimes the genome can be out of control for our limited knowledge. Even human nutrition can suffer a lot changes from this tech. Because it might be applied to human embryos to modify some genes related to infancy's grown up as well as the modification of mother's milk. The true thing is, it is never a one progress of technology which can be sure to bring happiness to human beings life, it depends on who and how the technology is used. People create technologies, people also need to control technologies.

msnelmida
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:41 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby msnelmida » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:54 pm

I personally think that this article shows how much we had learned so far about genetics but at the same time as people pointed out it is frightening as scientists already began to use CRISPR although our understanding is still not sufficient. Is this an appropriate approach to gain knowledge or should we slow down and take things in a slower pace and other direction. Also this have not been fully tested yet does we are not sure at all what will be the repercussions or the exact positive effects it will bring.

tschristoffel
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:37 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby tschristoffel » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:24 am

I think CRISPR has much potential in the field of genetic engineering, but I have a few ethical issues with it. Firstly, as brought up by the article, CRISPR can have unpredictable effects on the environment. I think that any use in the modification of plants and animals would need to be done very slowly and carefully, if at all. The greatest benefit I see in CRISPR is that which can be applied to treating genetic diseases. However, even here I become skeptical. The improvements in lifespan that could come with CRISPR may seem like a great thing for humanity, but is it really great for the environment? According to the Global Footprint Network, we are consuming resources faster than the Earth can regenerate them, and it currently would take 1.6 Earths to generate enough to satisfy our yearly demand. It is important that we recognize the possible downsides that come with the advances in human lifespan.

dianalee
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby dianalee » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:34 am

The article is exciting and frightening at the same time. Many of researchers had adopted CRISPR as a gene editing methods due to a low cost, and quick and easy to use. As Bo Huang mentioned in the article, “There is a mentality that as long as it works, we don’t have to understand how or why it works.” It worries me to think that a lot researchers are not taking the time to understand how or why it works. If they took the time find out how or why it works, it may help to reduce unpredictable results. China used CRISPR to edit human many embryos but most of the embryos did not survive which was mentioned in the potcast. Although CRISPR is a powerful technique to use in various researches such as gene therapy for cancer, editing for genetic disease, I think the scientists are bargaining more than they can handle because we don’t fully understand the human genome and the properties of each gene that corresponds and associates.

User avatar
KelseyBS
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:56 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby KelseyBS » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:40 am

Wow! I cannot believe that I had not heard of this technology before!
I had difficulty understanding how the bacteria was able to create the Clustered Regularly Inter-spaced Short Palindromic Repeats. I will have to search for an animated diagram of the process.
I was also surprised when they had said that the use of CRISPR in scientific experiments had failed so much after they explained how much easier it was compared to how difficult it seemed.
This IS a cause for concern; As soon as I heard the word resurrect, my first thought was Jurassic Park, but I'm am not as alarmed as some others. I know there is nothing I can do to stop CRISPR from being used and influencing our evolution, but the genuine scientific curiosity inside of me and all other scientists require that we further the study of it.

fdtran
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:49 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby fdtran » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:44 am

I think the commentators in the podcasts made some interesting points. I liked the comparison they made with CRISPR and IVT births and how the views of today on CRISPR were similar to the views on IVT. It may be possible that we will have different views of this twenty years from now.

They also made a point that CRISPR is argued to be unethical because it changes the offspring's DNA without consent. It also begs the question about the ethics of deleting genetic disorders and how that should be regulated.

Selestine
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:15 am

Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby Selestine » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:49 am

I usually don’t have problems with the inventions of new technologies that are trying to solve the problems that we are facing in our lives. With CRISPR, a gene editing technology I do think that it will be of significant help in providing best treatments to some genetic diseases such as sickle-cell.

My only concern with CRISPR is whether this technology will be able to function without causing any significant disruptions. Otherwise it might end up in causing evolution of some organisms that were never anticipated. So it is better for the scientist to take all the necessary precautions before CRISPR gets used by most of the people.

eridolfi
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:07 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby eridolfi » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:34 am

My observation with the pod cast this that frankly the commentators did not take it seriously in many places. No, I do not expect bone dry statements of facts and jokes are perfectly acceptable but it seems to me that this went a tad too far. When one person raised ethical concerns, they kind of made fun of him. They also did not present many of the facts until the end, which could be misleading to anyone listening. Did anyone else have these thoughts?

herrerajen
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:15 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby herrerajen » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:47 am

Throughout the podcast and the article, several scientists have raised biological, ethical, political questions concerning the usage of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. While many have pointed to the ethical implications of gene cutting, only one person made the comparison of this practice to in vitro fertilization. While IVF doesn't specialize in gene removal, it does possess the ability to change the gender of the baby. Through IVF, a person can change the gender of their baby with evidence of a genetic abnormality. Yet this practice is fairly expensive and inaccessible to many low-income families; therefore, it it is not as democratized as CRISPR intends to be. However it should be noted that through IVF families have the option between male or female which excludes the possibility for intersex children. Going forward, if CRISPR intends to change to change gender, it will be necessary to ask questions about where othered categories such as intersex fits in.

nyonan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:47 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby nyonan » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:47 am

twilliams wrote:Call me a Luddite (not like I'm going to deny it), but this really gets my really uneasy for the reasons described in the podcast. Bottom line is that I know this is going to get even cheaper, more efficient, and therefore more commonplace. Nothing is going to stop that, but that doesn't mean there are not possible repercussions that could harm us as a species.

I think putting human beings in the driver seat of our evolution is bound to fail for the same reason most economists agree that markets work. I'll try to sum this up quick: basically most economists will agree that trying to control prices instead of letting the market decide is a bad idea, because there are too many factors involved in the economy, that not even the best economist can predict what the price of something should be. Something is going to be overlooked, and as a result, regulating a price is going to produce unintended economic consequences.

If we can change the DNA of a person before they are born, we can affect human evolution, as was discussed in the podcast. It seems highly unlikely to me that we (as a species) can make smart decisions about how our evolution is going to go. There are too many factors involved about societal and environmental pressures, that we cannot consider and evaluate them all; somethings are going to be overlooked, and poor decisions are going to be made as a result. I’m not talking making sure your kid is not born with a disease, because I get that; I’m talking about thing such as a height and brain function.

Most people would seem it is pretty intuitive to want your kid to be smart, right? Well, if a lot of people have their kids engineered to be geniuses with eidetic memories, think about what that would do to the labor market. A lot of “normal-born” people are going to be screwed out of a job because they can’t compete with that, even if they are relatively smart. So those people will have kids that are engineered as geniuses, and the whole cycle repeats. Whoever was not from a lineage that had some modification in it is going to be stigmatized in some way, because the standards of what being “good” at something means is going to change higher.

I can go on and on, but my bottom line is that nature seems to be really good at that “natural selection” thing, so I think we should let it do its job. But we won’t because human society doesn’t work that way. And that’s the end of my rant.


I agree with nature being good at its job. I like that phrasing since it makes the idea short and sweet. The issue I think that would come from all this is not so much the stigmatization of those who have not been genetically engineered but instead the impact will be less social and more straight up natural. Putting it lightly, humans would be attempting to gain control over a natural order. We've always tried to do so in the past, what with controlling weather and trying to recreate natural occurrences. The issue with that is, it never works. Despite all our knowledge, we cannot control the weather. Despite knowing it is simple static electricity, we cannot even come close to recreating lightning and its true power. Now, I'm not religious so I won't be saying "humans are trying to play God" or something like that, but nature is a force. A very strong force. So strong in fact that whenever a man made infrastructure has been abandoned for only a short time, nature ravages it and takes over completely. I believe the reason for that is explained in Newton's Laws, we're forcing ourselves against another force so it's natural to get a reaction. So you genetically modify your kids, all of a sudden some genes don't express like they should while others express while they shouldn't and it all happens during development because the body then tries to balance things out. High levels of depression skyrocket, new diseases can occur due to developmental mutations, and then we are also limited by our imagination. We'll see a mutation in an early stage and think it's a bad thing. Perhaps that mutation could cause a ripple effect into a truly amazing being. Who knows? We're not THAT smart as a species. Now I'm all for using genetic modification to try to cure diseases that we know of in the genetic code, but to make a "better human" is subjective and asking for a backlash. Nothing good has ever come from fighting or trying to control nature. Icarus flew too high, only to be punished by hubris having them melt and falling to his death.

SamGarcia25
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby SamGarcia25 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:14 pm

Once CRISPR is made stable and applicable for humans, it will be interesting to see where the ethical boundaries reside and where lines are made against its uses. Adding to this, the amount of effort put in by groups of people to combat it and how far they'd be willing to stop it. This ties to the end of the podcast where they ask whether modifying the genes of embryos will even be an open question anymore since those Chinese scientists have already been experimenting with it.

Michelle Tarango
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:59 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby Michelle Tarango » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:18 pm

I found the article extremely interesting as I had no prior knowledge of CRISPR, but I agree that the heavy use of this technology without great understanding can have dangerous effects. In particular, I was interested in the use of CRISPR for agricultural uses. While the article focused more on commercial agriculture, as a livestock showman, I am wondering how CRISPR may be used by show stock companies to "improve" their animals. It is already common practice for companies to genetically test breeding animals for certain diseases (such as a high stress gene found in some pigs), but I am curious to see if CRISPR could then be used to alter this gene in an otherwise desirable breeding animal.

lksalinero
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:01 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby lksalinero » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:48 pm

herrerajen wrote:Throughout the podcast and the article, several scientists have raised biological, ethical, political questions concerning the usage of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. While many have pointed to the ethical implications of gene cutting, only one person made the comparison of this practice to in vitro fertilization. While IVF doesn't specialize in gene removal, it does possess the ability to change the gender of the baby. Through IVF, a person can change the gender of their baby with evidence of a genetic abnormality. Yet this practice is fairly expensive and inaccessible to many low-income families; therefore, it it is not as democratized as CRISPR intends to be.


I also found the in vitro fertilization (IVF) example/case study interesting. One concern raised by many of our classmates about CRISPR was that human evolution should be allowed to take its course unhindered. Essentially, that we shouldn’t attempt to affect the evolution of our species. I think the social acceptance of IVF makes an interesting counterexample to this argument.

IVF is undoubtedly increasing the prevalence of genes associated with reduced fertility in populations where IVF is relatively commonplace, yet few people would argue that IVF harming the human race, IVF should be outlawed, or that people conceived through IVF are making our populations less “fit.” Perhaps our acceptance of IVF signifies that our goals as a species and the traits that we value as a society are no longer aligned with the characteristics that evolution selects for.

pkshah
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:59 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby pkshah » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:58 pm

While reading the article and listening to the podcast, I thought that CRISPR is a pretty exciting tool. Furthermore, I think that it also supports Dulbecco's ideology. Seeing tangible results as reflected by editing the genome can really mean that everything that we are is a result of our genetic makeup. The phenotypes that we display and the environment we are in play a huge part in the creation of our individuality; however, it all starts in the genes. Furthermore, the ease of access and the feasibility of this procedure seem really promising (provided that we don't hack away at genes that should not be targeted). The implications that this can have for the future could be monumental. However, there could also be a lot of problems that are associated with even a perfect version of the CRISPR method. Suppose that we do perfect genetic manipulation through this method. There are a lot of societal, ethical, and philosophical implications of making something like this method common practice with regards to perfecting the human genome. The moment that something like this comes out it is going to create a massive market. Altering your genome and body in such a way as to be able to perform better than everyone else is going to become a rarity that, presumably, only a few could afford. This is with the understanding that those creating this are probably more interested in making money than bumping humanity to the next level. As a result, we will start to see a clear dichotomy of the classes (I want to write my term paper on this so I have given the idea of genetic manipulation a fair bit of thought).

I am not sure that I understand the full method of the CRISPR process; however, I think the majority of the focus of this class will be the implication of the possibilities of CRISPR as opposed to the way it does its magic. From what I can tell after listening to the podcast its really ingenious stuff though :)

anjames
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:51 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby anjames » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:00 pm

eridolfi wrote:My observation with the pod cast this that frankly the commentators did not take it seriously in many places. No, I do not expect bone dry statements of facts and jokes are perfectly acceptable but it seems to me that this went a tad too far. When one person raised ethical concerns, they kind of made fun of him. They also did not present many of the facts until the end, which could be misleading to anyone listening. Did anyone else have these thoughts?


I had that reaction too right after listening to it. I'm not sure a lack of ethical concern is really being left with at least our class though. My functional genomics class focused on the basics of CRISPR rather than an ethical discussion or one of applications. My initial thoughts were that it sounded cool, but there's no way it's perfect or perfectly understood yet. I'm just one person and I don't work in a lab though. I think it's a good thing to add some caution to all this excitement. I support Frankenstein or other books, movies and tv shows for leaving the reader or viewer with concern about science going too far. Someone hearing about this for the first time shouldn't have the feeling that they don't need to worry about self regulation of genetic technologies, or other ones for that matter. It's important for us to stop to consider what we really know and how sure we are about it, keeping in mind not everyone may be as cautious. This is why you can't necessarily do whatever study you want, or get something approved by the FDA very quickly. It seems there's a question of is study and application of this new technology getting regulated enough to prevent a disaster. I really don't know enough about that to say if we should be worried about the applications of these studies, which goes back to the question of democratization and if this technology being cheap makes it democratized. Unless I'm not connecting things right. I think I'm thinking too hard.

kgbaidoo
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:56 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby kgbaidoo » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:03 pm

I am very excited and amazed at how far scientists have come with the study of the human genome.I am a big fan of scientific innovations because they make our lives easier and better.I think it is very mind-blowing what CRISPR can do with the transformation on the human genome but I will definitely support the cause of CRISPR it it is only going to used in curing diseases such as cancer and other pathogenic diseases.I am also against the use of CRISPR among humans firstly because it may may alter the human race in the some time to come both physically and mentally.A CRSIPR engineered baby may certain advantages and qualities over a normal baby in some years.This terrifies me because it may change the way human think and live in the future.
When CRISPR is finally ready to be used in some years to come, it is will be in favor of the rich and power because it is going to expensive to have a human genome engineered with CRISPR.For this reason, I do not want it to be used on humans because it will unfair to the poor people and people in the developing countries who can afford to have their genomes edited with CRISPR.

jjquintanilla
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:18 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby jjquintanilla » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:28 pm

This podcast was rather interesting because it simplifies the conceptual dynamics of molecular biology and genetics. In addition, this concept of CRISPR was foreign to me but after hearing the podcast, I feel that CRISPR can bring many innovations which can benefits human society. The overall function of this methodological system focuses on the identification of specific sections of DNA which are responsible for identification of certain harmful traits. What follows this idea is the notion of broad range of applicability into other fields of human society: Health, foods, embryonic development, etc. This then brings into question, if humans can in some way now have control of other things. In other words, it would seem that Humans now have control of the outcome of the future and of people at the individual level. Hence, one question I would have is whether or not society will shift towards an era where the natural processes are replaced by synthetics ones. However, I myself would approve of such methods, for it if is for the benefit of humankind; meaning an end of harmful disease, then I would totally support this method.

lgomez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby lgomez » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:29 pm

I think moving forward the scientific community has an obligation to really investigate the mechanism behind CRISPR and determine to the best of their ability just how exactly it works. The accessibility of the technique holds promise; some labs don't use the editing function of the enzyme and instead just use it as a homing device, which has pretty exciting applications in gene therapy. But until we understand the repercussions of using this technique in humans to induce heritable mutations we should be very careful in pushing this forward.

Ignoring humans for a bit, CRISPR has also enable scientists to investigate species that were formerly quite problematic to work with in a laboratory setting. For example, trees key in lumber and feedstock for biofuels are notoriously difficult to work with, however the characterization of CRIPSR in these organisms might prove extremely beneficial to the relevant industries all without breaching the thorny question of modifying sapient beings.

Nancy Galeno
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:03 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby Nancy Galeno » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:44 pm

This podcast and article about CRISPR seemed to me to be a little bit of a stretch, however as technology continues to expand as it has been up to now, I do see that some aspects of using CRISPR in human beings to be a possibility. However, as discussed in the podcast, I do see that ethical arguments that arise from it. As the podcast says, in 20 years it is very possible that CRISPR will be so developed and sophisticated that it will be ready for use on humans, and then what? I agree that this question is easily answered when one asks themselves if there was a way to make sure genetically that their babies will not have a certain disease such as Huntington’s, it is most likely that they will. There is already technology such as IVF that is already commonly used and it is common that there are some parents that chose whether they had a boy or a girl. Like CRISPR, IVF was also criticized for being “unnatural” and has then become more accepted. I believe that although there are ethical concerns, once better developed, CRISPR will take this one step further and will then slowly gain more acceptance.

ktoporovskaya
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:44 am

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby ktoporovskaya » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:49 pm

First of all the sound effects were awesome. I enjoyed learning the process of discovery of the crispr. I thought it was interesting that it grabed scientist's attention just by having a repeating sequence. It was also amazing how long it took the scientist to find out what does sequence actually does. It's also fascinating to have such breakthrough science come from simple and common ecoli bacteria to produce genome editing technology that can be passed on to generations to come.

eugenekim
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:59 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby eugenekim » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:56 pm

I think that its really important to see how powerful this new technology is. Through CRISPR we able to genetically modify human ears and lungs, manipulate the human genome to eradicate disease, and manipulate pesky insects that have the potential to harm animals and humans. However, with such potential, there is also large risks, such as a man dying during a clinical trial. The implications for the future are resoundin, but at the same time, its also incredibly scary as eugenics has shown us. Will the rich be the only ones to have superior genes? How will this be implicated and what will it mean for those who do not employ the use of CRISPR? Will it mean that only the wealthy and few selected be the only ones to live comfortable lives?

lemacias
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:04 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby lemacias » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:56 pm

I think the fact that we have achieved this level of scientific development and discovery is amazing and blows my mind!!! Some of the implications to contemplate is like in any technological advancement the first people to have access to this might be the ones in power (and all the consequences that this may bring) and also how the profitable the new market for this molecular technologies will take over in a few years. CRISPR is a big step to our human evolution and interestingly, the ethics and morals of different groups arise (and their different perspectives) without contemplating the whole spectrum (or having enough scientific knowledge) of all the benefits and positive aspects this new discovery brings. I am happy that this topic came up as one of the suggestions I made in class :).

pattyt
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Aug. 17: CRISPR podcast and reading (required)

Postby pattyt » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:37 pm

This is an intriguing subject. I agree with what someone else stayed in their pay about how we had a certain view of IVT but it has now changed. This is a new technology that we don't know much about, and in the future it may become less scary. However, do we really know enough about it to really tertiary it at this stage?


Return to “Readings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest