White traits for Designer Babies Preferred?

Dr. Kiran Musunuru is on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania with the Cell and Molecular Biology program. (UPenn).   He is also affiliated with Harvard University Stem Cell Research Institute. (Harvard.edu).

Dr. Musunuru received his M.D. degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, his Ph.D. degree from The Rockefeller University, and his M.P.H. degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Musunuru has been one of the leading critics of CRISPR gene editing for cosmetic or other human enhancement.

From Fox 5 Atlanta, Dec. 20, 2019:

[2020s] was the era when a rogue scientist chose to make edits to a set of twin girls’ DNA, making real the long-imagined scenario of genetically altering human beings while simultaneously thrusting the deeply complicated ethical discussions surrounding this practice into the limelight…

In 2018, Chinese biophysics researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to modify the genes of two twin girls before birth… many mainstream scientists criticized the attempt, calling it too unsafe to try… others saw a window into a dystopian future filled with designer babies and framed by a new kind of eugenics.

At the time, Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene-editing expert, said He’s work was “unconscionable… an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible.”

Dr. He Jiankui is now in prison in China for his pioneering research.  Some suspect international pressure on the Chinese government.

From CNN, Dec. 30,

Chinese scientist who edited genes of twin babies is jailed for 3 years

Editing the genes of embryos intended for pregnancy is banned in many countries, including the United States. In the United Kingdom, embryos can only be edited for research purposes with strict regulatory approval.

Now, Dr. Musunuru is conceding that CRISPR and Dr. Jiankui’s groundbreaking research, is likely to lead to designer babies in the near future.

An interview withg Dr. Musunuru in early January appeared in various publications worldwide.  It contained some stunning admissions from the Harvard, U-Penn professor. Of particular interest to the Subspecieism, Human Biodiversity community:

From the Globe and Post, Jan. 17,

Controlling Our Own Evolution: What is the Future of Gene-Editing?

MUSUNURU: CRISPR is one type of gene-editing tool. Gene editing is a technology that allows us to make changes to genes in the DNA and in the cells in the body… What we can do with CRISPR is either turn off genes – and that’s easier to do – or we can make more precise changes to genes such as correcting a mutation…

More:

There are different scenarios where you could see parents using gene-editing on behalf of their unborn children…

[A] scenario would be cases in which parents want to make changes that are not really medical but are more of what we would think of as enhancements. These could be cosmetic changes like hair color, eye color, things like that.

But it could potentially be much more serious things like intelligence or athletic ability or musical talent… you can imagine how certain parents might want to do that, might want to advance their children in the ways that they feel personally are desirable.

Musunuru further asserts, CRISPR editing for cosmetic and other enhancements isn’t that far off.

eye color, hair color, those actually turned out to be fairly simple. There’s only a small number of genes that control those. So in theory, if you wanted to do it, it wouldn’t be that difficult.

Note – Photo h/t of Mexican designer baby clinic, KaylaCagan@Twitter.com

 

 

 

Eric

Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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