In studying science, we often become so concentrated on little details that help compose life that we neglect how they come together. A signal transduction pathway leading to DNA transcription is nothing more than a pixel to the full image. A one-track mind in sciences neglects why we study the subject in the first place. Our drive for innovation in science should be fostered by compassion, thoughtfulness, global understanding; research is more than just an eagerness to learn for your own sufficiency, but rather a responsibility to all of humankind. I found that CRISPR violated my mindset for how science should be used.
CRISPR is a guided missile that changes how DNA is repaired. It damages DNA and then incorporates a foreign RNA strand. Crispr is for the most part used for good. It is used for gene therapy and has helped create GMO plants and animals, as well as help treat several serious diseases. However, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, classified gene therapy as a weapon of mass destruction. Scientists have previously speculated that CRISPR can be used as a WMD by manufacturing a “killer mosquito,” or a plague that targets staple crops (Regalado, 2016). Whatever the case may be, the idea of abusing gene therapy and technologies like CRISPR is something that worries me. It goes against my entire moral code when it comes to science; it ruins something for me that I thoroughly enjoy.
On a separate point, I’d be remiss to not talk about my two favorite things from the Ted Talks we watched. First, I was so surprised to find out that often times animals lack conscious thought. I did not know that parasites had the ability to basically take control of their victim’s mind and use them as a breeding ground. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say that the government has done something similar to all of the human population–fortunately I am not. Also, I found the video, “Conception to Birth,” to be astonishing. It is amazing how we go from a fertilized egg to an alien like creature, to an actual human baby.
Regalado, Antonio. “Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat.” MIT Technology Review. MIT Technology Review, 09 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 May 2017.