New Ways to Reprogram Genes

There is this amazing new method of gene programming that you may not have heard of and it is called CRISPR technology. To leave it at that would do no justice so it is best to fill in the blanks. It stands for, “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.” Now that this is cleared up, what does it mean?

Genetic Knowledge and Engineering

Back to what the abbreviation is, CRISPR technology aims to stop genetic codes at a certain point and to reprogram them so they repeat in a different pattern. Your genes repeat their codes on a regular basis and the same is true for all people.

Now that this is known, there is a way to change the code using this new technology. If you think about it in terms of a film, it would be like you can stop at certain points in the tape and change what will be played next. That can be done with genes now.

Stopping Diseases?

The immediate question that comes into the field is: “can this sort of technology be used to stop cancer?” That would be a wonderful idea but proponents of this method suggest that this sort of idea is too much of a leap.

Within the genetic code, which is the code of life, it is now possible to cut out a section of code for a disease and replace it with a code for health. That would mean that it is now possible to stop diseases dead in their tracks using this new technology. Does that mean that the technology is ready? No.

Reprogramming Disease

Honestly, the hope that researchers have regarding CRISPR technology is that it will be possible to replace the code of cancer with a healthy code. In fact, this is a very strong possibility. More so, it is a possibility to reprogram the immune system to attack certain cancer cells rather than to ignore them.

When this goal has been reached, there are limitless possibilities. For now, the goal has not been reached and the promise is very high. Yes, it is possible that this technology could lead to a cure for some serious genetic diseases including cancer. No, it is not something that is real at this time.

Other Implications

Developers of CRISPR technology argue that the very same innovations could be used to create genetically superior human beings and animals. That would be a very obvious problem of huge consequences that have not yet even been imagined beyond the science fiction realm.

Initial tests in China to use this technology to alter faulty genes in embryos proved to be unsuccessful so there is a kink in the operation. Of course, the methods are being refined to ensure that recoding will be successful.

The developers of CRISPR are already being lauded as the new scientific contemporaries with potential Nobel Prize licking at their heels. Do they want this? It is not something they even thought about at first.

The major concern is that this amazing technology not be used in a malevolent or totally commercial way.

News Reporter