Semantron 23 Summer 2023

A shot at a perfect society

segment of the debate is whether it is morally right to remove neurological disorders, such as those which would make a child more likely to develop Autism, ADHD, ADD, Bipolar Disorder. One investigation told us the following: ‘Researchers asked both neurotypical and autistic participants to brainstorm creative uses for a brick and a paperclip. While non-autistic people named less and more obvious uses, autistic people immediately offered unusual uses, such as heating up the paperclip to use as a suture or adding weight to a paper airplane. Essentially, these findings suggest that autistic people are potentially more creative.’ 8

Would it be right to take away a child’s in genuity?


Genetic editing is a tool that has vast potential. Once its full power is unlocked, there will be no further genetic diseases. Cancer, a condition that causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK, 9 will become a thing of the past. The same applies to AIDS, a condition that destroys our natural protection against diseases, and to sickle cell disease, with side effects including severe pain episodes, stroke, and organ damage. However, with Earth becoming less habitable by the minute, why stop there? We could increase our strength by altering our muscle growth. We could force evolution to give us gills, allowing us to adapt to an underwater world. We could take the abilities of the tardigrade and become partially immortal. Genetic editing gives humans a path to godhead. The question is: do we dare?


Ashley-Koch A, Yang Q, Olney RS. (2000) Sickle haemoglobin (HbS) allele and sickle cell disease: a HuGE review . Am J Epidemiol.;151(9):839-45. Best C, Arora S, Porter F, Doherty M. (2015) The relationship between subthreshold autistic traits, ambiguous figure perception and divergent thinking. J Autism Dev Disord. 45:4064 – 73. 10.1007/s10803-015-2518-2 - DOI - PubMed Burke, F. (2019) CRISPR provides hope of sickle cell cure. Medical Express Cancer Research UK (2021) Cancer mortality statistics , Cancer Research UK CRISPR Therapeutics (2022) CRISPR/Cas9 cas9#:~:text=CRISPR%2FCas9%20edits%20genes%20by,revolutionary%20technology%20into%20transfo rmative%20therapies. 3 rd August 2022 Lino, C., Harper, J., Carney, J. and Timlin, J. (2018) Delivering CRISPR: a review of the challenges and approaches 25(1): 1234 – 1257 NHS (2019) Treatment - Sickle cell disease disease/treatment/#:~:text=Stem%20cell%20or%20bone%20marrow%20transplants%20are%20the%20o nly%20cure,different%20types%20of%20blood%20cells. 3 rd August 2022 Ralston, A. (2008) Environmental mutagens, cell signalling and DNA repair. Nature Education 1(1):114

8 See Best 2015. 9 See Cancer Research UK (2021) Cancer mortality statistics.


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