| More

CRISPR/CAS and interventions in the human genome: on nature and vice

Views: 181 Downloads: 378
Διονυσία Χασαπάκου (Dionysia Chasapakou), Στέλλα Προϊκάκη (Stella Proikaki), Μαρία Μπόμπολα (Maria Bobola), Γεώργιος Λάμπρου (George Lambrou)
Διονυσία Χασαπάκου (Dionysia Chasapakou), Στέλλα Προϊκάκη (Stella Proikaki), Μαρία Μπόμπολα (Maria Bobola), Γεώργιος Λάμπρου (George Lambrou)


Biological sciences are progressing rapidly. New methodologies of data analysis are necessary due to methods of production of mass biological data. However, new challenges have arisen concerning the knowledge management and its probable bioethical consequences on living beings.
The next step in biological sciences' advancement was the CRISPR/Cas9 method which made possible the selective genomic modification. This method is simple, effective and flexible and facilitates the genomic modification of any organism included human. It is the most impressive achievement on the path of constant advancement in biological engineering technology over the last decade. Although already widely applied in all species, it is its application on human beings that is most interesting. In literature, there is an intense debate and the new technologies are being compared to old eugenics, which gives a negative tone to these methods. On the other hand, there is the optimistic aspect which considers these methods as life-saving for human evolution. This paper aims to present and support the view that the moral value of things is not in nature but in user's habit; to give grounds for more reflection, to discuss bioethical issues arising from the application of this technology and of course to highlight that whatever the upcoming developments of genomic are, they should foster and benefit the individual.
Moreover, it is essential that the scientific community is in a constant and continuous consultation with society at large. Finally, new policies and updated guidelines are of utter importance in order to ensure the respect of human existence.


CRISPR/CAS; human genome


Aswini YB, Varun S. Genetics in public health: Rarely explored. Indian journal of human genetics. 2010;16(2):47-54.

Carroll D, Charo RA. The societal opportunities and challenges of genome editing. Genome biology. 2015;16:242.

Chen X, Kuja-Halkola R, Rahman I, Arpegard J, Viktorin A, Karlsson R, et al. Dominant Genetic Variation and Missing Heritability for Human Complex Traits: Insights from Twin versus Genome-wide Common SNP Models. American journal of human genetics. 2015;97(5):708-14.

Crawford NG, Kelly DE, Hansen MEB, Beltrame MH, Fan S, Bowman SL, et al. Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations. Science (New York, NY). 2017;358(6365).

Cyranoski D, Reardon S. Embryo editing sparks epic debate. Nature. 2015;520(7549):593-4.

Dizon F, Costa S, Rock C, Harris A, Husk C, Mei J. Genetically Modified (GM) Foods and Ethical Eating. Journal of food science. 2016;81(2):R287-91.

Goldstein DB. Common genetic variation and human traits. The New England journal of medicine. 2009;360(17):1696-8.

Greger M. Trait selection and welfare of genetically engineered animals in agriculture. Journal of animal science. 2010;88(2):811-4.

Gyngell C, Douglas T. Stocking the genetic supermarket: reproductive genetic technologies and collective action problems. Bioethics. 2015;29(4):241-50

Hammond A, Galizi R, Kyrou K, Simoni A, Siniscalchi C, Katsanos D, et al. A CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system targeting female reproduction in the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae. Nature biotechnology. 2016;34(1):78-83.

Hildt E. Human Germline Interventions-Think First. Frontiers in genetics. 2016;7:81.

Ishii T. The ethics of creating genetically modified children using genome editing. Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity. 2017;24(6):418-23.

Κατσιμίγκας Γ, Καμπά Ε. Θεολογική και νομική θεώρηση του προεμφυτευτικού-προγεννητικού ελέγχου. 2015.

Kiuru M, Crystal RG. Progress and prospects: gene therapy for performance and appearance enhancement. Gene therapy. 2008;15(5):329-37.

Klipstein S. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: technological promise and ethical perils. Fertility and sterility. 2005;83(5):1347-53.

Marouli E, Graff M, Medina-Gomez C, Lo KS, Wood AR, Kjaer TR, et al. Rare and low-frequency coding variants alter human adult height. Nature. 2017;542(7640):186-90.

Meisenberg G. Designer babies on tap? Medical students' attitudes to pre-implantation genetic screening. Public understanding of science (Bristol, England). 2009;18(2):149-66.

Nagel SK. Enhancement for well-being is still ethically challenging. Frontiers in systems neuroscience. 2014;8:72.

Ormond KE, Mortlock DP, Scholes DT, Bombard Y, Brody LC, Faucett WA, et al. Human Germline Genome Editing. American journal of human genetics. 2017;101(2):167-76.

Papadopoulou T, Ευγονική. 2015.

Pergament E. The promise of gene therapy. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology. 2016;28(2):132-5.

Polkinghorne JC. The person, the soul, and genetic engineering. Journal of medical ethics. 2004;30(6):593-7; discussion 7-600

Porteus MH, Dann CT. Genome editing of the germline: broadening the discussion. Molecular therapy: the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 2015;23(6):980-2.

Powell R. In Genes We Trust: Germline Engineering, Eugenics, and the Future of the Human Genome. The Journal of medicine and philosophy. 2015;40(6):669-95.

Servick K. Embryo editing takes another step to clinic. Science (New York, NY). 2017;357(6350):436-7.

Shalem O, Sanjana NE, Hartenian E, Shi X, Scott DA, Mikkelsen TS, et al. Genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screening in human cells. Science (New York, NY). 2014;343(6166):84-7.

Simonstein F. Gene Editing, Enhancing and Women's Role. Science and engineering ethics. 2017.

Song B, Fan Y, He W, Zhu D, Niu X, Wang D, et al. Improved hematopoietic differentiation efficiency of gene-corrected beta-thalassemia induced pluripotent stem cells by CRISPR/Cas9 system. Stem cells and development. 2015;24(9):1053-65.

Sontheimer EJ, Barrangou R. The Bacterial Origins of the CRISPR Genome-Editing Revolution. Human gene therapy. 2015;26(7):413-24.

Sterckx S, Cockbain J, Howard HC, Borry P. "I prefer a child with ...": designer babies, another controversial patent in the arena of direct-to-consumer genomics. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics. 2013;15(12):923-4.

Tonkens R. Parental wisdom, empirical blindness, and normative evaluation of prenatal genetic enhancement. The Journal of medicine and philosophy. 2011;36(3):274-95.

Raz AE. Eugenic utopias/dystopias, reprogenetics, and community genetics. Sociology of health & illness. 2009;31(4):602-16.

Vizcarrondo FE. Human enhancement: The new eugenics. The Linacre quarterly. 2014;81(3):239-43.

Yang Y, Zhang X, Yi L, Hou Z, Chen J, Kou X, et al. Naive Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Generated From beta-Thalassemia Fibroblasts Allow Efficient Gene Correction With CRISPR/Cas9. Stem cells translational medicine. 2016;5(1):8-19.

Zhang F, Wen Y, Guo X. CRISPR/Cas9 for genome editing: progress, implications and challenges. Human molecular genetics. 2014;23(R1):R40-6.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Bioethica