There has always been a lot of hysteria surrounding gene editing. Some argue about the ethics and where gene editing could lead while others are afraid of the unknown. What many do not realize is that scientists are using gene editing to solve many of the problems they have not been able to due to the lack of the right tools. This article will explore the benefits that stem from the use of gene editing.
Curing Incurable Diseases
We know certain diseases reside and are carried in our genes. By eliminating these genes, it is possible to treat this wide range of diseases, ranging from Alzheimer’s to heart disease.
The main challenge that arises is targeting one gene and ensuring it is the right one. While this used to be a concern in the past, it is not now. Scientists are using highly targeted and accurate gene editing tools like Cas-CLOVER which is a much more accurate CRISPR alternative to ensure only the right genes are edited.
We are already seeing scientists treating eye diseases using these tools, with options like blood disorders and deafness potentially curable using this technology.
Gene Editing is Helping in Drug Discovery
Researchers are using gene editing tools to switch off or knock out certain genes to see what happens when they do this. By doing so, researchers can identify genes that are involved in drug resistance.
Drug resistance to available medications is dangerous because it means if someone gets infected with a microorganism that is resistant to drugs, they cannot be treated easily, and doctors have to find potentially dangerous solutions to the resistance.
By knowing which genes cause such resistance, researchers can expose them to different drugs and chemicals. The cells that become sensitive to these compounds are the ones causing such resistance. The genes themselves and the proteins they encode can then be targeted using the compounds they became sensitive to.
The gene editing tools that are making this possible are also being used in various other ways and other applications. Researchers who want to leverage these tools can team up with companies providing cell line engineering services and other gene editing tools.
Curing Inherited Diseases
Many of the diseases that are inherited are very dangerous and life-altering. Gene editing is giving researchers the tools they need to remove these diseases from affected family lines.
Currently, we can screen for genetic diseases through genetic screening before in vitro fertilization. In the future, we might be able to use gene editing tools to enhance this process and eliminate most if not all inherited diseases.
Saving Endangered Species
Humans are not the only species that can benefit from gene editing because scientists are already using it to protect endangered species. Animal species ravaged by specific diseases can have new drugs developed for them to protect them from extinction.
Scientists are also making certain species more robust and resistant to the effects of climate change and the destruction of the environment.
Gene editing is a very interesting technology that has lots of benefits and potential uses. When used right, it can change the course of humankind in ways we cannot yet imagine.