Prime Editing: What is it and What are its Possibilities

Introduction

I first heard about gene editing when I was in grade 6 (2018). One of my classmates gave a presentation on how with gene editing, people can design how their babies will look like. At that time, I thought that was the limit of gene editing. But, in 2019, I did a project on examples of gene mutations in movies and how they could be replicated in real life. My partner and I took the example of Captain America. In the movie, Captain America becomes instantly taller and stronger by taking a serum. Of course, this serum does not exist in real life. So we started looking into gene editing.

  • How is it different from CRISPR?
  • Why is it Important?
  • What is the future of Prime Editing?
  • Prime Editing: Is it ethical?

What Is Prime Editing

Prime Editing is a form of ‘search and replace’ gene-editing technology. But what is gene editing?

How Is It Different From CRISPR?

Prime editing and CRISPR both use the CAS-9 protein but still have differences. So what is CRISPR?

Why is Prime Editing Important?

In Canada, cancer is the leading cause of death and accounted for 30% of all deaths in Canada in 2016. In 2020, it is predicted that there will be 225,800 new cancer cases and 83,300 cancer deaths according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Although there have been many breakthroughs, there is no cure for cancer.

Pie Chart Showing the Proportion of the Causes of Death In Canada In 2016

What Does The Future Hold for Prime Editing

Prime editing will have a radical effect on medical sciences. However, prime editing and gene editing are still in the early stages and there still needs to be many trials to make prime editing safe and effective.

Prime Editing: Ethics

Nature: One ethical argument is that humans are born natural and diseases are natural and that if we as humans alter the human body to lengthen their lifespan, we are controlling when they die. And are we interfering in the act of God?

Conclusion

There are a lot of concerns regarding the ethics of gene editing. However, gene editing has the potential to save millions of lives if used in the right ethical manner. But, I believe there needs to be a lot of work done regarding regulations and ethics before this technology is released to the public.

Works Cited:

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