Temporary Expert – Week 2

Blog Post – Discursive Research

I knew vaguely what this topic was to start off with — I just knew that it was some way of editing DNA or genes, but I didn’t know much more. Most of the research I’ve done so far is finding a basic understanding of how this technology works. Through a video titled “What Is CRISPR and How Does It Work?” they mentioned what CRISPR stands for, which is — Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. It described how some of the sequences in DNA are repeated but can be reversed, which is where the ‘palindromic’ part of CRISPR comes from. It has been interesting to research this topic, because everything is in very scientific terms whereas I can barely remember anything from my freshman biology class 10+ years ago. Reading and hearing about some of the potential uses of this CRISPR technology is fascinating and I can see how to potentially tie it to climate change when some applications mention dealing with improving crop growth and resilience. However, on the contrary, I have also read a little bit about the ethical concerns this technology raises. In the video they mentioned this example that what if people could pay scientists to alter their baby’s DNA in order to make them stronger, smarter, etc.? Which could lead to CRISPR making the world even more unequal and prejudice. I think this point of questioning the ethical side of CRISPR has been what I find most interesting so far.

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