Bioterrorism in the new technology of gene editing

Technology is responsible for positive impacts in our lives. However, we can not miss the downsides of technology, from environmental pollution all the way to the negative use of gene editing. Recently, the United States government have been urged to put up countermeasures on the negative use of biotechnology, mainly CRISPR, which is the process of gene editing. The warning was given to the former President of United States, Barrack Obama, by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The council wanted the government to put up measures that will curb bioterrorism using gene editing in future.

While “good people” are using CRISPR to engineer cures for cancer, HIV and  other blood borne diseases, others are using the same technology to increase the efficiency of current diseases and plagues. The magnitude at which CRISPR can be used to cause damage is quite worrying. A bioterorist can actually make a virus resistant to the current antibiotics and medication. In addition to that, the process can be used to create a pest that is also resistant to pest control.

As we have seen previously, the law is on the losing end when it come to technology and society developing. This is quiet evident with the driver less cars, use of drones and the high speed rails. As we are approaching a major upgrade and series of discoveries on genetic revolution, it is logic that the field needs a little bit more of monitoring than celebrating the new achievement. Genetic revolution poses negative changes as much as it does on positive end. All eyes are on the government  waiting to witness the measures it will put in place to help this technology grow and be of help to the society rather than a calamity, with the hope that it will respond to the various warnings passed to it.

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Rajat Chakraborty Written by: