Jagriti Shrestha
Grade X

We, humans, are all defined by our unique traits and features and it’s how we stand out. We look and behave differently due to the genes passed down to us by our parents. Hair and eye color, body structure, facial features, all our traits are what we inherited from our parents. But looks and mannerisms aside, heredity also results in disadvantageous aspects such as genetic disease and ailments, which are passed down to us by our parents as well. For example, if a person has diabetes, chances are, their child will have, too. These diseases can range from mildly irritating to life threatening. This is a definite problem, and as the population grows rapidly year by year, people suffering from genetic disorders will increase. In fact, it is estimated that 70-80 million people suffer from genetic disease worldwide. Recently, scientists have developed a technology that determines the end of this problem.

Gene-editing is a group of technologies that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA, the code of life that controls all the natural processes of our body. Within the gene-editing field, is a technology known as CRISPR, a Nobel prize winning technology that has the potential to change the world for the better. DNA is made up of several different

sequences, and just one wrong sequence usually results in some medical abnormality. CRISPR can easily be used to fix this mistake to cure the condition. The way CRISPR works is basically cutting off a specific segment of our DNA to completely remove a trait, patch a new sequence for a new trait or edit existing sequence to remove the disorder. Using CRISPR, we have a serious possibility of eradicating a large number of diseases from the world, and saving millions of lives. The ability to just edit certain parts of DNA and change our very composition sounds very much like science fiction, but it will soon become our new normal. In the not-so-far future, preventing diseases like cancer and HIV might be as simple as vaccination is today.

Gene-editing is an immensely powerful tool with endless prospects, so it is something to be handled with immense care and supervision. Even now in its early stages, it is highly controversial, but the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. For now, we can safely say that it holds immense potential and the power to revolutionize humanity forever.


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