The Commited MAY 2015 - Page 76

TED DİYARBAKIR COLLEGE / 9-B 74 Artificial Futures Öykü Irmak BAYINDIR In the last 66 years we’ve discovered DNA, and we learned how it works. We’ve developed machines that can read it. And finally, in the last six years we’ve developed some tools and methods that can change it. Now we are designing these “unborn babies” by using those methods entering a new era. A future with much smarter, durable, beautiful and intelligent babies than us will come at any case. Gene editing is not something new. It has been done for years and it has 4 levels. Scientists explain it in the form of doors in a 4-storey building. The door on the ground floor of this building was opened in 1980 for improvement. After the first trials failed, doctors in 1990 managed to treat a rare gene disease. However, the method still remains experimental. In particular, heart diseases related to multiple genes, high blood pressure or common diseases such as Alzheimer’s research is underway to treat this method. “If we can edit genes, why should we only use them for treatment?” said scientists and in 2004 they opened the second door. They used mice for an experiment. One of them was a normal rat, but the other mouse’s genes were designed. It’s been arranged to run longer. Designed mouse ran 200 meters per minute and the normal one gave up after running 200 meters in 10 minutes. Alongside, the third and the fourth doors called “Germline Gene Editing Techniques” are about to open. These are the changes on reproductive cells. For many scientists, we are at the beginning of this way about these techniques. And it’s not legally possible in 25 countries. It’s not appropriate to play with the DNA of the unborn babies. In November, 2018, a Chinese scientist announced that he designed two babies’ genes and they were twins. Their names are Lulu and Nana. Due to designing their genes, they will never have AIDS disease but people still have questions in their minds about its ethical side.