If the average individual. What happens when young

If you take any two given people it would appear the genetic variation in humans is incredibly vast but surprisingly it doesn’t differ as much as you would think. Human DNA is made up of around 3 billion bits of code. It’s a vast amount of data. One TED talk presenter made that figure more impressive by wheeling out three bookshelves filled with a hundred seventy-five volumes of tiny print books consisting of two hundred seventy-five thousand pages. These volumes contain the first fully sequenced human genetic code.Perhaps the more interesting fact is that what separates you from me is the data contained in just 500 of those two hundred seventy-five thousand pages. Much of the rest is currently a mystery. Human DNA sequencing has come a long way in a very short time. 17 years ago the project that produced the first sequence cost about a hundred million dollars. Today you can have your DNA sequenced for under a thousand bucks. In 2012, the scientific community had another major breakthrough a technology called **CRISPR** allowed scientists to accurately and affordably cut and paste bits of information within DNA. A procedure that used to be reserved for huge budget projects can now be quickly replicated by students in a good bio-lab. The ability to selectively apply genetic traits in humans fast approaching. Soon parents will be able to edit eye color or physical strength among countless other traits as well as completely screen out disease or imperfections. As the world approaches this massive change it would be wise to consider some of the possible consequences. As with any new technology, there are inherent risks. When editing human DNA geneticist will have to have the utmost care for the underlying system. Much of those two hundred seventy-five thousand pages of data are simply filled with long stretches of the letter ‘N’. Those passages represent bits of code that the technology of today couldn’t decipher.At first, it will be like a computer science student playing around with existing code whatever changes he makes may have unintended consequences and will probably not be for the best. As the technology becomes more mainstream it will become more available to the average individual. What happens when young parents can’t afford to edit the negative traits of the child they are expecting. Also, grey market geneticists could offer reduced rates with lower standards possibly introducing unforeseen genetic problems into their customers.Many experts believe that the best way to combat that kind of situation is to prevent individual labs and governments from controlling the growth of the market like the way GMOs have developed. If this new technology is nurtured in a public collaborative environment led by genetic experts the outcome could be much more positive.Genetic tinkering needs to be developed in a controlled humanitarian manner to avoid facing consequences like GMOs which are now often referred to as **Frankenfoods** and have a negative connotation when they could really help end world hunger. One aspect of humanity that must be respected is diversity. Diversity has gotten the human race through some very challenging times and is absolutely essential to any evolving system. If the generations in future become more homogenous will be more susceptible to disease and genetic conditions that could cause massive societal damage. The temptation of making a ‘designer baby’ will be very real but you have to think at what point does the child stop being itself and become a product of pre-packaged super genes. It’s important to keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect human being.  

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