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Welcome to the Brave New World: CRISPR Mediated Genome Editing‐pathway to Designer Babies?
Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology (2015)
  • Hemayet Ullah, Howard University
Abstract
The world literature circle was abuzz in 1932 when Aldous Huxley published his seminal book “Brave New World”. He painted the efforts of a totalitarian state to lab manufacture “sub‐human” people who would be capable of work but not of independent thought. Though the plot was set almost 500 years in the future, the author may not have envisioned that within a century of his writing scientists would embark on developing technologies that could potentially set the road for ʺdesigner babiesʺ in the future. The recent availability of the simple, yet highly
effective, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology ‐‐ which is taking the scientific world by storm – provides the preliminary steps in the genome editing (making specific changes at targeted genomic sites) efforts of any biological organisms. The recent report of Chinese scientists’ use of the CRISPR system to rectify the mutation in a gene that causes beta‐thalassemia disease in human embryos highlights the progression the scientific world is making in the realm of genome editing in germline (Liang
et al. 2015). The scientific community has now widely accepted the fact that it is not a matter of if, but when, the Nobel Prize will be awarded for the development of this groundbreaking technology.
Disciplines
Publication Date
July, 2015
Citation Information
Hemayet Ullah. "Welcome to the Brave New World: CRISPR Mediated Genome Editing‐pathway to Designer Babies?" Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology Vol. 25 Iss. 1 (2015) p. 143 - 154
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hemayet-ullah/13/