New hobby: gene editing


(CC by-SA)

With the advancement of technology and the mass production of it, high tech equipment is getting into the hands of seemingly average joes. One case of this is the increase in gene editing at home.

These self made biohackers are able to create their own laboratories in their homes to edit genes. The equipment to fuel these labs are becoming more available to the general populous because of their decreasing prices as more of the products are produced. As the products become more available, this group of home scientists will increase.

Such easy access to the machines and information for DNA alteration allows those who may not have the degrees to work in a state of the art laboratory to try their hand at gene editing. More minds will be able to make new discoveries.

Despite the pros to having the necessary tools for gene editing at the public’s disposal, there are some who fear that these tools will fall into the wrong hands. While many could work on developing cures at home, some could create bioweapons. Some believe that there should soon be regulations placed on those who alter DNA as a hobby.

According to the New York Times, there have only been a few minor incidences with gene editing, such as a man injecting himself with altered DNA hoping it would add to his muscularity, and another man injecting himself with a supposed treatment for the herpes virus. While these incidences have led to no consequences, many are fearful with the rise of DNA modifications being done at home and for cheap, that someone may create something with serious and harmful repercussions.

Nevertheless the time in which a person modifies DNA as a hobby has come.