Curing the Human Condition: The Ethics of Editing Our Own DNA

Thirty-two million Americans currently have health conditions linked to genetic defects, nearly all of which can be corrected by genetic editing with CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Opponents of gene editing abound, from those who point to their potential role in increasing the privilege gap between the rich and poor, to people who object morally to the idea of humans meddling with their own DNA, to pharmaceutical companies whose profits would be threatened by a reduced need for medication. However, after analysis of the ethicality of genetic editing technology with the frameworks of common good, utilitarianism, and fairness, it is evident that the eventual species-scale benefits that will be brought about by the technology outweigh its risks and flaws.

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Biohacking: The Ethical Implications of Democratizing Biotechnology

Biohacking is a Do-It-Yourself movement that encourages experimenting with biotechnology tools to find ways to improve one’s health and enhance one’s natural capabilities, and many in the movement advocate for the democratization of scientific tools so that everyone can participate in such scientific discovery. However, some biohackers take their experimentation to the extreme, and not all of them seem to understand the responsibility and risks associated with the scientific methods they employ. As a result, tension between the biohacking community and the professional science community has grown as biohacking continues to increase in popularity. Though the biohacking movement makes salient points about the way ethical precautions and regulation slow innovation, this paper explores the need for codes of ethics governing the pursuit of scientific discovery and how biohackers and traditional, trained scientists can reach common ground.

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Surgeons Perform First Successful Pig-to-Human Transplant Using a Genetically-Engineered Animal

In a revolutionary feat of science, medicine, and engineering, surgeons at NYU have successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human. However, as biotech companies rush to develop suitable animal organs for transplants, we must address the ethical concerns behind xenotransplantation.

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Problems with CRISPR: Unintended Brain Enhancement on China’s Gene-edited Twins

3/1/2019 Profiled article A. Regalado, “China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced”, Feb. 21, 2019. [Online] MIT Technology Review. Available at: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612997/the-crispr-twins-had-their-brains-altered/ [Accessed 24…

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