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Monday, 3 December 2018

Enter The New World

The Fall of Man (Peter Paul Rubens)
And after they ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind's original ancestors (Adam and Eve), became aware of their surroundings and their own nakedness: they felt shame and covered themselves with fig leaves. Scripture continues the narrative. Upon discovery of their shenanigan, God, our Creator banishes the pair from the Garden, reduces them into mortal beings and from that point on, they not only carried with them the genetic instruction for propagation but all the human ills and weaknesses (original sin).

Like a father parent to children, God must have been heartbroken to serve penalty to the couple for their offense; He who worked hard to create the firmament, the waters, land, flora and fauna for them. He would later on provide them and their offspring the key to return to Him, but this thought will be saved for another day.

Humans have always been fascinated with creation. There are numerous science journals and fiction novels that promote man's fascination and creative ability to tinker with life and its many forms. English author Mary Shelley wrote The Modern Prometheus in 1818, a story about a young Doctor Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who creates a creature, a monster. The novel is wrapped in romanticism and adventurism. Another great novel that deals with man's creativity is The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), written by science fiction author H. G. Wells(The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine).

These days, we have many fronts in the medical and science industries that we seldom hear or know about. And when we do find out and discover what it is, the new procedure has already been in practice, ethical and moral acceptance are afterthoughts! Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism's DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome...CRISPR-Cas9 was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria. The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to "remember" the viruses (or closely related ones). If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses' DNA. The bacteria then use Cas9 or a similar enzyme to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus.

Remember, that genetic information is transferable to future offspring. We have genetically modified vegetables, corn, and fruits. Same with cows, sheep, and pigs. The future will bring to us an unknown consequence of these genetically engineered creations. Some may wonder if man has reached an unacceptable technological hubris level.

Recently, He Jiankiu, a research scientist from China's Guandong region has claimed to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies, as a group of leading scientists declared that it's still too soon to try to make permanent changes to DNA that can be inherited by future generations. Researcher He Jiankui claims to have altered the DNA of the twins to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

Officials declared a halt to on-going research for now. Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping told state broadcaster CCTV that his ministry is strongly opposed to the efforts that reportedly produced twin girls born earlier this month. Xu called the team's actions illegal and unacceptable and said an investigation had been ordered, but made no mention of specific actions taken.


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