Some gene edited animals have been unintentionally deformed. There are gene edited rabbits with enlarged tongues and pig’s with extra vertebrae.
Rapid progress in gene editing is being made but there is still a lot to learn.
We know enough now to be really dangerous. 20-30 yrs from now this will all be trivial and easy.
There was recently the editing of human fertilized cells and embryos. The cost of actual CRISPR gene editing was as little as one hundred dollars. The far greater costs are the many gene sequencings before and after to ensure that the correct change was made.
The learnings needed are not just that changing one gene or multiple genes has particular desired effects but also what unintended effects occur.
There are already huge gains and benefits with the gene editing and gene therapy that we can perform now.
Crops, microbes and animals can be modified at an accelerated pace. Previously we had been using breeding methods for centuries and millenia. We still use breeding. Now have gene sequencing for systematic breeding and embryo selection.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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