The technology is changing at a fast pace that even the offsprings of humans are not untouched. The scientists are developing ways to edit DNA of tomorrow’s children, after IVF. Germline the biologists’ jargon for the egg and the sperm, which combine to form an embryo. The scientists are trying to make changes in the germ line.
By editing the DNA of these cells or the embryo itself, it could be possible to correct disease genes and pass those genetic fixes on to the future generations.
Such a technology could be used to get rid of the families of scourges like cystic fibrous. It might be possible to install genes to protect from infections.
This process is being done in a special laboratory, where a colony of marmoset monkeys is being established with the aim of using CRISPER to create an accurate model of human brain diseases.
They edit DNA of embryos and transfer them into female marmosets to produce live monkeys. With this process, there is a problem that CRISPER can introduce off-target effects or change bits of genome far from where scientists have intended.
To engineer the germ line the scientists are developing a new technique that is technically more demanding but probably more powerful. It involves combining the CRISPER with unfolding discoveries related to stem cells. They will soon use stem cells to produce eggs and sperms in the laboratory.
Unlike the embryos, stem cells can be grown and multiplied and thus providing a vastly improved way to create edited offspring with CRISPER. The process goes like this, First, edit the genes of the stem cells, secondly turning them into an egg or sperm and lastly, producing an offspring.
If Germline Engineering will become the part of medical practice, then there will be tremendous changes in the human well-being. With, the consequences to people’s life span, identity, and economic output. But it would create ethical dilemmas and social changes.
The critics cite the host of fear. The children would be the subject of experiments. Parents will get influenced by the genetic advertising from IVF clinics.
With the caution and the ethical concerns, some countries have banned germline engineering, and also some scientific societies have that it would be risky to do.
There are some people, adamant that the germ-line engineering is being pushed ahead with the false arguments. Hence defaming the technique.