Re: Embryo DNA Experiments Hold Lessons For Tech
I couldn't agree more, Dave. Maybe it's no surprise at this point that US (and other) media outlets will be filled with exaggerated outrage over any and every bit of news, but when it comes to something science-oriented, I feel compelled to stand up on behalf of reason, especially when reputable science sources are amongst those doing the naysaying. Now, I'm not saying there's no moral debate here. As Mr. DavidK points out, we're all sci-fi fans, and there's no shortage of stories of gene modification gone wrong there. Apparently, there's an international "policy agreement" specifically forbidding this kind of research, and the chinese researchers knowingly broke it. So, while you're right that our western morals have no jurisdiction over them, we're back to the other side of the coin. There is an international community to answer to when it comes to science, and it moves at a certain pace by design.
That's a far cry from going against progress, though. Terry makes a great point. The line of at what point we're mucking with 'nature's intentions' is fairly arbitrary, and to that end, religion should have no place in restricting the rights of others. History ought to have proven that enough times by now. I don't blame people for being heated - this is a heavy issue. Projecting ignorance, though, is only going to stifle us from making the important decisions when it's time to. It sounds like the methods used by MIT are not even that different from the ones used by the chinese researchers - Crispr/Cas9 appears to be a subtype of crispr ("Cas" just means "crispr associated"). The fact that many of the people up in arms wouldn't even be bothered to read that far says a lot. Many STEM figureheads talk about how important a STEM-aware populace is for future generations. I agree with that 100%.