STATES CHRONICLE – The scientific breakthrough of the year was the CRISPR technology and as Bayer and CRISPR are teaming up, the era of gene editing is starting maybe.
Scientists at CRISPR therapeutics managed to develop a technology which allows them to edit genes in such ways that they might manage to cure several disorders. However, just as any other scientific breakthrough of such magnitude, it has spiked controversy.
Everyone understands the importance of this technology and the fact that it could indeed cure hereditary diseases by altering some genes. But there are many skeptical people, especially ethicists who worry about the consequences using such a technology could have on people’s lives.
It is not known yet for sure what effects would this technique have on human cells or what would happen if someone asks for genetic modification for no reason, using them instead of plastic surgery. And the biggest issue is what would happen if this technology gets into the wrong hands and those hands start a biological warfare that could cause the destruction of the world.
I don’t know about you, but all of this sound so out of our world, it’s like I’m reading a superhero comic book, except there’s definitely nothing ‘comic’ about it. But let’s start looking on the bright side and hope that everything does go well and scientists do manage to cure hereditary diseases without starting a war.
In the CRISPR – Bayer partnership, the former brings the new gene-editing technology, while the latter brings protein engineering expertise and obviously their long term experience in disease treatment. Their goal is to manage to give patients in vivo CRISPR-Cas9 applications.
The two companies are also investing a lot of money, with Bayer providing at least $300M for the next five years. The money will be invested in therapies for three diseases: blindness, blood disorders and congenital heart diseases. The therapies will be exclusively available to CRISPR for human-use and for non-human use to Bayer. The ‘non-human’ use refers to agricultural applications.
All in all, although there are people opposing this technology, it is the only one available that could cure various hereditary conditions and therefore, it should be given a chance to prove its worth.
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