Tuesday , August 3 2021

What do Americans think about regulating a gene in human embryos? – Quartz



With the development of gene regulation and recent Chinese experiments on babies, the question of whether it is ethical to generate a human model has left the field of scientific and philosophical speculation to enter the near future.

Is it acceptable, or even desirable, for the genes to regulate infants from diseases, for example? Does this apply to eugenics? The debate seems to be less heated than it can be expected, at least in America: According to AP-NORS research (the research initiative of the Associated Press and the University of Chicago) about the attitudes to gene regulation technology, a solid majority said they are advocate when it comes to preventing the disease.

A survey of 1067 adults in the United States found that only 12% of the respondents considered it acceptable to intervene by modifying the genes to increase intelligence or physical power. It decreased to 10% for changing the physical attribute as eye color.

But 65% were fine with intervening in human genes to prevent non-focal conditions, such as blindness. An even greater percentage (67%) would be fine using the arrangement of genes to prevent diseases like cancer, and 71% are in favor of incurable, hereditary diseases (cystic fibrosis, for example, or Huntington's disease ).

As a term for comparison, a greater percentage of Americans consider abortion to be illegal in all and in most cases. These individuals specifically include those who reject abortion motivated by the health of the baby, especially when it comes to genetic hereditary conditions and even deadly. Many abortion activists deactivate the practices of countries such as Denmark, where the law allows elective abortions in the case, for example, fetuses with Down syndrome – something that has led to almost eliminating the disease. The results of this study, however, suggest that most Americans believe that genetic hereditary conditions are something of value for gene regulation.

What may be even more interesting is that the percentage of people who oppose intervention in each case on medical issues is below 20%, and that is only about 70% when it comes to changing other features, such as abilities or physical characteristics . This means that three out of 10 Americans are committed to arranging genes for non-health reasons, although the survey also found that 52% of Americans believe that gene regulation would be used for unethical reasons.

However, Americans are not particularly stunned by the idea of ​​federal government taxpayers' money making money to fund research to generate genetic problems: 48% oppose the idea, and only 25% approve of it.


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