This tool allows editing, ie removing or replacing a single base pair of the 3 billion in a DNA sequence of the human genome or of course replacing whole genes. The co-inventor of the process, Jennifer Doudna likens it to using a word processor for editing text. The ramifications are far reaching ranging from curing genetic diseases in humans or animals ie blood diseases or types of cancer, creating new types of medication, modifying crops etc. One application of great importance is the ability to eradicate whole species such as the malaria causing mosquito which kills one thousand children a day at present. There could be unforeseen impacts of doing so. This known as a gene drive. Designer humans are also theoretically possible. The great strength of CRISPR is the ease and low cost of using the technology. This also its greatest threat.
There are many moral and ethical issues similar to those for AI and there is a worry that the technology is advancing so quickly that the regulators are unable to keep up.
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