Scientists are hopeful of gene editing leading to a change in human heredity, which will help the future generation to fight genetic diseases. With the capacity to alter the genes inside the living cells, gene editing can be a really useful advancement in the field of biology.
According to Phys, scientists are finding a way to alter the sperm, eggs or embryos, enabling the babies to be immune to hereditary diseases. It will be completely dependent on technology to induce gene editing under strict supervision following various criteria, which will determine the possibility to bring up a disease free future generation.
A panel of scientists in the US is researching on the potential of the gene editing process. According to them, there is a set of strict guidelines under which the gene engineering has to be done. Though it is still unclear whether this "germ line-heritable-editing" will be done or not, the regulatory guidelines are being set by the scientists to avoid any mishap. The main focus of the gene editing process will be on making the sick heal faster and develop better strength in what can be called as "designer babies".
According to MIT Technology Review, the gene editing technology known as CRISPR has been acknowledged by a panel of scientists from the National Academy of Sciences. They recommend the use of gene editing for altering the DNA in "designer babies" to restrict them from being affected by serious diseases like thalassemia which might have passed from the genes of the parents.
Although the panel has restrictions that prohibit any illegal usage of the gene editing, its actions have been protested from time to time. The existing legislation of Europe and the US along with people from various religious sects are against the development of "designer babies" via gene editing. In 2015, a rider was added to the US Department of Health and Human Services that restricts the US Food and Drug administration to carry forward any proposal of gene editing for creating "genetically modified offsprings".
There has been much debate over the introduction of gene editing to create designer babies. While it is accused of being unethical and feared to bear disadvantages of illegal usage, the benefits include advantages like the treatment of diseases like cancer, muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer's too. Gene editing can also make the future generation less prone to HIV infection. Considering most Scientists views, it seems gene editing has more known virtues than unknown vices.