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Genetic Modification: a Possible Solution to the Down Syndrome

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Until this day down syndrome is still one of the most common disorders. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) states, that “Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome, which is about 1 in every 700 babies born.” There are three types of down syndrome which are Trisomy 21, Translocation, and Mosaicism. According to Mayo Clinic, down syndrome is defined as “ a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.”

This disorder can generically be inherited through either the dad or the mother. However, maternal age is the factor that I think expands the likelihood of down disorder birth. I have observed how my aunt’s life changed drastically after she gave birth to a down syndrome child. It has affected her in many negative ways. Therefore, the benefits of enhancing humans through science outweigh the negative. It gives the ability to design desirable characteristics into people. Genetic modification can prevent diseases and disabilities. Physical traits could be another feature corrected by enhancing humans. Genetic engineering can also create intelligent minds. These are things why genetic modification can be beneficial to humans.

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What is genetic modification? What are the benefits? Genetic engineering also known as genetic modification is an alteration of an organism’s hereditary synthesis by artificial methods, regularly, including the exchange of explicit characteristics, or qualities. Genetic engineering not only benefits humans but also plants and animals. It utilizes chemicals from microscopic organisms to find qualities inside DNA and erase or supplant them. Genetic engineering in humans can prevent many diseases including blood diseases, HIV, some forms of genetic blindness, familial hypercholesterolemia, Sickle-cell anemia, and Hemophilia. In Rebecca Dresser’s article says that “It also could allow parents to “enhance” their children by promoting resistance to HIV infection or cancer” (Capecchi 2000). Meaning that children would not be affected by any diseases that the parent contains.

An example that this procedure can be helpful is if both the mother and father had colored eye and both wanted their children to come out with color eyes, genetic modification can make that happen because the DNA can be changed, and it gives it a higher probability that the child will be born with colored eyes as them. In National Geographic website, “Pro and Con: Should Gene Editing Be Performed on Human Embryos”, points out, “Ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent”. (Harris 1) Next generations would not be affected if the person decides to modify their genes. People would not feel the blame and dread reasoning if genetic genes were to pass on to their baby. Throughout the years, genetic designing has turned out to be progressively common in agriculture. They have a huge impact on human health through nutrition and medicine production. Crops can prove to be immensely powerful to our environment. Mendials research in “ Scientific American” observers, “more than 10,000 plants taken over just about 10 years were published in 1866 and revealed the targeted changes in a living organism that could be obtained by breeding for desired characteristics”(Zehr1). Crops created by a hereditary building cannot exclusively be utilized to improve yields and nutritional quality, but also for an expanded resistance to different biotic and abiotic stress. It helps produce crops in a shorter amount of time. The modifications make the crops more resistant to any type of disease they present.

Also, preventing the control of pest insects, plant pathogens, and weeds. Maurizio G. Paoletti and David Pimentel’s article, “ Genetic Engineering in Agriculture and the Environment, they state that “ Genetic engineering is rapidly replacing traditional plant breeding programs and has become the mainstay of agriculture crop improvement”(Paoletti and Pimentel 665). With that being said, these beneficial facts make our food safer for humans to consume by putting specific gene traits into our food crops. The genetic engineering of animals has increased throughout the years. Animals like fish, chickens, male mosquitoes, cows and pigs are some animals that have been put to the test to be safely modified. It offers solutions for improving general wellbeing and upgrading personal satisfaction. Modified animals will offer potential solutions for a general medical problem. There are benefits like progressing in human wellbeing, upgrade nourishment generation, lessening the natural impact, optimizing creature wellbeing and welfare. For example, how has had been engineered to produce milk similar to the milk made by humans.” In addition, The Guardian Website analyzes that “there are a number of scientific, safety and taste issues that would have to be overcome before this replaces “mother’s milk” for infants.” Later in the future breastfeeding will no longer be necessary because if the cows start to get genetically engineered their milk will have all the nutrients that the baby needs.

In addition, genetic modification can prevent any disease or disabilities. A technique called CRISPR-cas9 is a technology that helps stretch the DNA and edit the’ gene. CRISPR-cas9 works by infusing a DNA into a living organism. This technology can change the world for many people. From saving people’s lives to treating people with Alzheimer’s, HIV, crops, livestock, and cancer treatments. As well as developing new drugs to help treat a blood disorder, heart disease, and blindness. An example would be my cousin who has down syndrome. The University of Hertfordshire examines that, “ Down’s syndrome is the commonest identifiable cause of intellectual disability, accounting for around 15-20% of the intellectually disabled population.” Intellectual disability also formerly known as “mental retardation” is when they have trouble learning. Their ability to progress things is slower than most children. Cases like these can be prevented with gene modification. The strategy could assist researchers in identifying the cell pathways behind the disorder side effects and to design and focus on the treatment. This work could prompt medicines that address degenerative side effects of Down syndrome, for example, the likelihood of individuals with the disorder to grow early dementia. My cousin could have had his genes edited utilizing CRISPR-cas9 technology to have prevented his down syndrome and his intellectual disability. The disease is another factor that could have been turned aside. Elimination of risk diseases that are passed by heredity can be something beneficial to so many people. To add one, once the gene is edited it won’t get passed down in future generations. The American Journalist of Bioethics, “ CRISPR-Cas Gene Editing to Cure Serious Diseases: Treat the Patient, Not the Germ Line” include, “ gene editing can be applied in, somatic cells, for which the older gene therapy methods are widely accepted” (Lundberg and Novak 38). This explains where the gene editing can be applied and how it can prevent the risk of most any kind of disease. People who today suffer from any type of disease can benefit from these treatments as well as people who are barely developing it.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with brain cancer and this ended her life when she couldn’t fight anymore. From doctor visits every 2 weeks for chemo to constantly staying overnight at the hospital, it was basically her first home. Every day, she would try to maintain a positive attitude for her and her family that gave her so much support. She tried to enjoy and spend as much time with her family just in case something were to happen. Her parents really beg the doctor for doctor permission to let her out for 2 days even though she was in a very bad condition. Her parents had planned her a 15 of her own with a beautiful blue dress. A sure enough that was the last time she got to cherish her all family one last time. My friend’s diseases who have impacted her life emotionally, and physically. Cancer is a common disease that adults and young adults develop that causes many deaths due to no urgent and efficient options. The goal is to transfer corrected cells back into the person to treat their disease. In the research science daily it examines, “ The emergence of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology provides a powerful new way to explore cancer biology through genome-wide screens”. With advanced technology such as CRISPR-cas9, her diseases would be resolved. This would also restrain the disease to pass on to next generations. Her life span would have been able to extend because it would have taken care of her illness. Not only will it cure her disease but it uplifts their families pain and suffering they all have gone through.

The genetic engineer is so effective that it can not only cure common diseases and disabilities but physical traits in a human. This method has an extremely clear use in people, for example, restorative changes to eye color and tallness, or even actual concerns, like physical imperativeness. Human research, “ Designing Babies: Human Research Issues” by Rebecca Dress explains, “ Genetic alterations made in early-stage human embryos would be present in the cells of children developing from such embryos, including the germ (sperm or egg) cells”(Dresser1). This technique has allowed editing the DNA of a human embryo to change their babies physical traits through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In Merriam- Webster defines in vitro fertilization as “ fertilization by mixing sperm with eggs surgically removed from an ovary followed by uterine implantation of one or of the resulting fertilized eggs”. This process allows doctors to analyze the genomes of the embryo to tell the parents the gender what eye color they will have and from that point, the parents decide on the embryo desired and traits and have it placed inside the mother’s womb. CRISPR-cas9 job is to modify the human embryo before they are carried into the mother’s uterus. In the article, “ Enhancing Humans Through Science Is Beneficial” show that, “ humans have been selecting the traits that they want in their children by selecting their mates.” This implies that parents have the ability to design their baby what they call “designer baby”.

An example of genetically designing a baby is if the parents have found out that the unborn baby has cystic fibrosis or any other genetic disease. Or, maybe the doctor has said that the baby might be born deformed. These children would grow up to live an awful life because of the defects, diseases and another else that the child presents. All this can be corrected people should take the chance.

Genetic modification can cover all these factors that parents would not want their child to have. Editing the baby’s physical traits helps to eliminate mitochondrial disorders. The Explore Biotech website, “ The Pros and Cons Of Having a Designer Baby” implies that, By editing out an unborn baby’s defective genes and only retaining the healthy genes, the baby will grow up healthier. This constructs the fact that this method may increase their life expectancy. My cousin who has down syndrome could really gain positive results if his genes were genetically edited. They also have wide, and short hangs with long fingers. The article by “ Very Well”, by Kathleen Fergus indicates, “ In their mouth, people with Down syndrome may have abnormal teeth, a narrow palate, and a tongue with deep fissures in it (this is called a furrowed tongue). They may also have round faces, short necks with the extra skin at the nape of the neck”(Fergus 1). Down syndrome children have physical traits that can be can modify. Unborn babies get their genes edited by changing their eye color, their height, skin color, and their intelligence, etc. Down syndrome children should be able to get treated and in order to make this happen gene editing is by far the most useful method that can be used for this. Without this procedure, millions of people would continue to die often. Getting rid of diseases and disabilities is a huge milestone in medical science because everyone can profit from it.

The many times I have attended a family party I have observed my little cousin who has down syndrome. His behavior, physical traits, and intelligence is so much different from us. Observing the daily struggles that my aunt have to go through when having to take care of my cousin. Due to his disorder, it’s required 24/7 attention and assistance because he can’t manage to do things on his own just yet. My uncle had to quit his job to assist my cousin in every way possible. Having to take care of someone with these defects has brought a good amount of weight on them. The parents have spent a big amount of money to provide him with the best physicians, special educators, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists to help increase his intellectual disability. The whole family has been affected physically, emotionally, and mentally by his disorder and disability. My aunts and uncles life has turned upside down fair quickly when they found out about the disorder and disability that her child was going to be born with. They had to be able to adjust because they had to meet all his needs. Never in a million years did they ever think they would be going through this. I saw how his behavior was very compulsive and stubborn and this is what my aunt mainly has to go through on a daily basis. The far drives that my uncle does to accommodate him with special education. What stood out to me was the disability he still has to develop. His intellectual disability is something that would take time for him to learn. They say that children with Down syndrome learn and think at a slow pace compared to other children. Though, I did notice that my cousin is very smart. Even though his speech and language development have not fully developed he still manages to try to speak. Although it can get rough my aunt and uncle have adapted and know the expectations that my cousin needs.

Intelligence is important to life! Why? The reason is that intelligence helps people make high- minded choices. Gene modification has also helped to edit genes so that people can become intelligent. With high modern technology, people can select embryos for intelligence. This article, “ Procreative Beneficence, Intelligence, and the Optimization Problem” the author addresses, “ that higher intelligence conduces to higher well-being, and so reproducers have reason to select for higher intelligence” (Saunders 662). This simplifies that people can be vaguely more intelligent than average. It has been said in the article, “ Should we edit genes to boost IQ?” the authors specify, “ that intelligence is at least 50% heritable”(Chivers, par.6). There are many genes that scientist can get to edit them and modify people’s intelligence starting from the embryo. People would not need to attend school because we would be genuinely intelligent. Imagine a world full of intelligent people all because of genetic modification. The number of people that become more intelligent will automatically connect with being more joyful and live longer.

Think of how much the world would change with this new advance modern technology. The elimination of pain, diseases, sufferings, and disabilities and many other things will no longer be haunting people. On the bright, look at what genetic modification can do to our genes. They can be edited by a single injection into the DNA and into the embryo. No matter how confident we feel or think we are we still would want to change something about own physical trait. It might not be a physical trait, but maybe the opportunity of being able to design that perfect baby you always dreamed of. Now you can say goodbye to those inherited diseases that pass through prenatal genes to offspring. With diseases being gone, the lives of people will be healthier and live longer. Being able to bring a baby into this world without being worried about it having any type of disability or disease at birth. What better way to prevent all that than using the technology of CRISPR-cas9. Genetic Modification will be able to positively protect the people today and future generations.

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