Designer Babies: Has Science Gone Too Far??? *X-Files Music*

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Designer Babies: Has Science Gone Too Far??? *X-Files Music*

Natalie Olivares, Editor in Chief (English)

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A Chinese scientist has recently revealed himself as the creator of the world’s first genetically modified human beings. He Jiankui, the scientist behind this experiment, worked on twin girls Lulu and Nana while they were still embryos. He modified their DNA using the gene editing strategy CRISPR in order to prevent the development and transmission of HIV, and later AIDS.

The twins were born healthy, but there is great outrage among the scientific community. Some call the experimentation on the twins a violation of human rights, and that this experiment was far too risky and poorly executed, claiming that the world is not at the technological level necessary to be able to handle such an operation.

It is feared that although both embryos were operated on and modified, only one twin may be able to truly defend herself from HIV. With both parents being HIV positive, the twins were at great risk of being born with the disease as well, but if only one baby girl is born resistant, then she is genetically superior to her sister, a concern that brings up the question of new age oppression and inequality through the use of genetic modification.

Some praise He Jiankui for his breakthrough, claiming that he has opened a new door to science and technology. Jiankui’s supporters believe that this technology may help to prevent new diseases on a larger scale and help elongate the human lifespan by fighting against diseases such as cancers, STDs, and much more.

At the moment, He Jiankui has been put on unpaid leave from his work at his university. Whether or not he will be charged with a crime against humanity is still in question, with some defending Jiankui’s research as a scientific breakthrough, and others condemning it as a moral atrocity.