I heard very little about CRISPR in 2016. That same year I went to China and saw a whole special about it from my hotel room on my first day there. As important as this is you’d there there would be more discussion about it.
CRISPR, much like Tumblr is pronounced “crisper”, stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. Without getting to into it here, this is the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology.
So where genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are modified by adding genes from other species, CRISPR is more like subtracting from or editing DNA.
While editing genes is discussed in terms of humans editing genes to change humans in this video, which is horrific enough in terms of race and class, consider the implications for the environment. We all know where changes to the environment end up right? Your plate.
What if farmers start using CRISPR modified seeds that are resistant to some crop? Will that reduce pesticide usage? Would only large argibusiness farms be able to use these seeds? What would be the long term effects on our environment and our health of eating CRISPR foods? Is it less ethically objectionable to edit DNA than to splice and add genes to it?
So many questions. This technology has already existed for a few years now. Check out this video and let’s get more of a discussion started.