If I told you that Captain America could become real in the next ten years, you would probably say I am mad and my head was filled with fantasies. But read this, and your life will be altered forever.
Scientists have developed a technology called CRISPR/Cas9. CRISPR harnesses the immune system bacteria, and they use it to snip a part of a gene and modify it to their own liking. Naturally, this causes some controversy. Having this tool lets you change a baby before they’re born. You can choose their IQ, eye color, skin color, and at some point you might be able to modify their growth so they’re super strong or super tall. (You see what I mean when I say Captain America.)
In a relatively short explanation: In the past four years, scientists have figured out how to exploit a quirk in the immune systems bacteria to edit genes in other organisms — plant genes, mouse genes, even human genes. With CRISPR, they can now make these edits quickly and cheaply, in days rather than weeks or months. Let that sink in. According to Vox.com, “We’re talking about a powerful new tool that can control what genes get shown in plants, animals, and even humans.” The ability to delete undesirable traits and potentially add desirable traits with more precision than ever before is becoming a reality.
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