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Professor David Valladares
ENC 1102
13 April 2020
The Pros and Cons of Human Genetic Splicing
When I use to hear about human genetic splicing, usually the negative thoughts would
come to mind. Genes are DNA sequences that code for protein. Genetic splicing consists of
genetic engineering where specific genes or gene sequences are inserted into the genome of a
different organism. Gene splicing can also specifically refer to a step during the processing of
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to prepare it to be translated into protein. There are pros and cons
to human genetic splicing; diseases can be prevented, gene editing can be cost effective,
individuals can be harmed within the process, and it can also be beneficial.
Gene editing and genetic splicing can be cost effective. Using CRISPR which stands for
clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats could lower the cost of gene editing.
CRISPR/Cas9 system can cost as little as $30. The increase in speed and reduction in cost
provided by CRISPR will allow researchers to perform more experiments and reach conclusions
and insights sooner. The ease and low cost of CRISPR will make genetic engineering more
feasible for research and inevitably drive towards modifying things even more controversial than
genetically modified food (CRISPR The Future of Synthetic Biology - Nathan Guo). Genetic
splicing can cure Alzheimer’s completely. Caring for Alzheimer's patients in the United States in
2017 will cost society $226 billion, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Diseases can be prevented. According to scientist Timothy Hefferon (“A Variable
Dinucleotide Repeat in the CFTR Gene Contributes to Phenotype Diversity by Forming RNA
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Secondary Structures That Alter Splicing.”); there are health benefits within human genetic
splicing. Genes influence health and disease, as well as human traits and behavior such as being
dependent, independent, introvert, or extrovert. Genetic splicing can be used to prevent genetic
diseases or diseases in general. While reading throughout the different 6 articles based on human
genetic splicing, I noticed that most scientist that study on human genetic engineering tend to
focus more on disabled children and how they can prevent the disabilities. For example: autism,
down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Several papers have now been published claiming use of the CRISPR system to suppress
or even inactivate and viruses such as the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B virus. More
exciting is the potential for the system to be used to neuter disease carrying insects or even to
directly fix genetic defects in living, breathing, humans (CRISPR The Future of Synthetic
Biology - Nathan Guo). As stated by Lim, Kian Huat who are a part of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America, genetic splicing can slow the aging process and
lengthen lives. Furthermore, gene editing can lead to endless supply of organ donors.
There are risks associated with getting genes into a human body and having them carry
out the desired function. Some genes are carried in on viral vectors and these bugs have been
altered so as not to infect a patient with a disease. However, a small number of gene therapy
trials have resulted in the deaths of some subjects. Also, we simply do not know long term the
potential ramifications of altering genes. For example, if you were to stop telomeres from
shortening would this have negative knock-on effects elsewhere in the genome? The human
genome and our whole bodies are a maze of complicated biological signals, pathways and
interrelationships. A positive change upstream could cause a negative effect downstream.
according to Isaac Rabino(Isaac Rabino, Politics and the Life Sciences, Ethical Debates in
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Genetic Engineering) I ended up with two disadvantages of genetic splicing one are lack of
repeatability and replication involving genetic splicing (in other words if the scientist results
aren’t as expected the then the scientist has to start over) however, there would be more
downfalls with the specimen therefore the scientist has to be cautious because if the results do
not come out as expected the specimen could end up like another Frankenstein, that downfall
could put people in danger. Two uncertainty in the life expectancy of gene spliced individuals (in
other words in the process of genetic splicing that individual could die).
However, the technology is nowhere near there yet, but a tiny number of parents
undergoing IVF have selected their embryos to be free from genetic mutations that have blighted
generations of their family. In the UK in January 2009 a mother gave birth to a girl whose
embryo had been selected to be free from a genetic form of breast cancer. Some see this as a
slippery slope towards a eugenic future, others view it as a valuable use of genetic engineering to
prevent disease from striking someone down. Society will decide how it uses this technology,
and it is for governments to weigh up the pros and cons of genetic engineering in humans to see
what may be carried out and what should be illegal. They will be prompted by public
understanding, desire and concern. It therefore behooves all of us to understand what scientists
are trying to accomplish and what they are not trying to do. To my surprise, search of literature
did not yield as many disadvantages or reasons to not practice genetic splicing. I was expecting
to find more disadvantages than benefits but from my research I have learned that there are more
advantages than disadvantages to human genetic splicing.
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Work Cited Page
Park, Jung W., et al. “Identification of Alternative Splicing Regulators by RNA Interference in
Drosophila.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,
vol. 101, no. 45, 2004, pp. 1597415979., www.jstor.org/stable/3373753.
Hefferon, Timothy W., et al. “A Variable Dinucleotide Repeat in the CFTR Gene Contributes to
Phenotype Diversity by Forming RNA Secondary Structures That Alter Splicing.” Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 101, no. 10, 2004, pp.
35043509., www.jstor.org/stable/3371509.
Jenkins, Bethany D., et al. “Nuclear Mutations That Block Group II RNA Splicing in Maize
Chloroplasts Reveal Several Intron Classes with Distinct Requirements for Splicing Factors.”
The Plant Cell, vol. 9, no. 3, 1997, pp. 283296., www.jstor.org/stable/3870482.
Rabino, Isaac. “Ethical Debates in Genetic Engineering: U.S. Scientists' Attitudes on Patenting,
Germ-Line Research, Food Labeling, and Agri-Biotech Issues.” Politics and the Life Sciences,
vol. 17, no. 2, 1998, pp. 147163., www.jstor.org/stable/4236432.
Lim, Kian Huat, et al. “Using Positional Distribution to Identify Splicing Elements and Predict
Pre-MRNA Processing Defects in Human Genes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, no. 27, 2011, pp. 1109311098.,
www.jstor.org/stable/27978748.

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1 Professor David Valladares ENC 1102 13 April 2020 The Pros and Cons of Human Genetic Splicing When I use to hear about human genetic splicing, usually the negative thoughts would come to mind. Genes are DNA sequences that code for protein. Genetic splicing consists of genetic engineering where specific genes or gene sequences are inserted into the genome of a different organism. Gene splicing can also specifically refer to a step during the processing of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to prepare it to be translated into protein. There are pros and cons to human genetic splicing; diseases can be prevented, gene editing can be cost effective, individuals can be harmed within the process, and it can also be beneficial. Gene editing and genetic splicing can be cost effective. Using CRISPR which stands for clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats could lower the cost of gene editing. CRISPR/Cas9 system can cost as little as $30. The increase in speed and reduction in cost provided by CRISPR will allow researchers to perform more experiments and reach conclusions and insights sooner. The ease and low cost of CRISPR will make genetic engineering more feasible for research and inevitably drive towards modifying things even more controversial than genetically modified food (CRISPR – The Future of Synthetic Biology - Nathan Guo). Genetic splicing can cure Alzheimer’s completely. Caring for Alzheimer's patients in the United States in 2017 will cost society $226 billion, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Diseases can be prevented. According to scientist Timothy Hefferon (“A Variable Dinucleotide Repeat in the CFTR Gene Contributes to Phenotype Diversity by Forming RNA 2 Secondary Structures That Alter Splicing.”); there are health benefits within human genetic splicing. Genes influence health and disease, as well as human traits and behavior such as being dependent, independent, introvert, or extrovert. Genetic splicing can be used to prevent genetic diseases or diseases in general. While reading throughout the different 6 articles based on human genetic splicing, I noticed that most scientist that study on human genetic engineering tend to focus more on disabled children and how they can prevent the disabilities. For example: autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Several papers have now been published claiming use of the CRISPR system to suppress or even inactivate and viruses such as the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B virus. More exciting is the potential for the system to be used to neuter disease carrying insects or even to directly fix genetic defects in living, breathing, humans (CRISPR – The Future of Synthetic Biology - Nathan Guo). As stated by Lim, Kian Huat who are a part of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, genetic splicing can slow the aging process and lengthen lives. Furthermore, gene editing can lead to endless supply of organ donors. There are risks associated with getting genes into a human body and having them carry out the desired function. Some genes are carried in on viral vectors and these bugs have been altered so as not to infect a patient with a disease. However, a small number of gene therapy trials have resulted in the deaths of some subjects. Also, we simply do not know long term the potential ramifications of altering genes. For example, if you were to stop telomeres from shortening would this have negative knock-on effects elsewhere in the genome? The human genome and our whole bodies are a maze of complicated biological signals, pathways and interrelationships. A positive change upstream could cause a negative effect downstream. according to Isaac Rabino(Isaac Rabino, Politics and the Life Sciences, Ethical Debates in 3 Genetic Engineering) I ended up with two disadvantages of genetic splicing one are lack of repeatability and replication involving genetic splicing (in other words if the scientist results aren’t as expected the then the scientist has to start over) however, there would be more downfalls with the specimen therefore the scientist has to be cautious because if the results do not come out as expected the specimen could end up like another Frankenstein, that downfall could put people in danger. Two uncertainty in the life expectancy of gene spliced individuals (in other words in the process of genetic splicing that individual could die). However, the technology is nowhere near there yet, but a tiny number of parents undergoing IVF have selected their embryos to be free from genetic mutations that have blighted generations of their family. In the UK in January 2009 a mother gave birth to a girl whose embryo had been selected to be free from a genetic form of breast cancer. Some see this as a slippery slope towards a eugenic future, others view it as a valuable use of genetic engineering to prevent disease from striking someone down. Society will decide how it uses this technology, and it is for governments to weigh up the pros and cons of genetic engineering in humans to see what may be carried out and what should be illegal. They will be prompted by public understanding, desire and concern. It therefore behooves all of us to understand what scientists are trying to accomplish and what they are not trying to do. To my surprise, search of literature did not yield as many disadvantages or reasons to not practice genetic splicing. I was expecting to find more disadvantages than benefits but from my research I have learned that there are more advantages than disadvantages to human genetic splicing. 4 Work Cited Page Park, Jung W., et al. “Identification of Alternative Splicing Regulators by RNA Interference in Drosophila.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 101, no. 45, 2004, pp. 15974–15979., www.jstor.org/stable/3373753. Hefferon, Timothy W., et al. “A Variable Dinucleotide Repeat in the CFTR Gene Contributes to Phenotype Diversity by Forming RNA Secondary Structures That Alter Splicing.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 101, no. 10, 2004, pp. 3504–3509., www.jstor.org/stable/3371509. Jenkins, Bethany D., et al. “Nuclear Mutations That Block Group II RNA Splicing in Maize Chloroplasts Reveal Several Intron Classes with Distinct Requirements for Splicing Factors.” The Plant Cell, vol. 9, no. 3, 1997, pp. 283–296., www.jstor.org/stable/3870482. Rabino, Isaac. “Ethical Debates in Genetic Engineering: U.S. Scientists' Attitudes on Patenting, Germ-Line Research, Food Labeling, and Agri-Biotech Issues.” Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 17, no. 2, 1998, pp. 147–163., www.jstor.org/stable/4236432. Lim, Kian Huat, et al. “Using Positional Distribution to Identify Splicing Elements and Predict Pre-MRNA Processing Defects in Human Genes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, no. 27, 2011, pp. 11093–11098., www.jstor.org/stable/27978748. Name: Description: ...
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