Gene editing is marching forward. In the UK, the government has taken the step of approving research that involves the genetic modification of human embryos. In the USA a federal panel has recently approved gene-editing study for cancer patients. But what do you think about genetic modification? Scientists in movies come in all shapes and sizes. See which view you agree with and which movie scientists you would be.
We should not play god!
You know what happens when humans don’t know their limits? The atomic bomb, global warming and people getting eaten by a T-rex while on the loo, like in the first Jurassic Park. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. DNA is not something we should just play around with as we like. Agree with this? You are Malcolm Grant from Jurassic Park.
With great power comes great responsibility.
When it comes to genetics the best approach is to invoke those famous words from Uncle Ben in Spider-Man. While the future power of genetic technology could be amazing, it is important to recognise the potential dangers. As with all science, it can be used for good and for bad. Sound sensible? You are Professor X from the X-Men. You understand that genetic changes are not inherently good or bad; it’s the use to which they are put that is key.
Science is awesome!
How can more knowledge about the natural world be bad? Science is progress, it has enabled the human race go from bashing stones together to having modern medicine, moon landings and the ability share unlimited amusing cat pictures on the internet. How scientists do research might be an ethical question, but knowledge itself is, just, well knowledge. It’s simple. The more science the better.
Sound good? You are Mark Watney from the Martian. If you see a difficult situation your first instinct is to, as he puts it, "science the sh*t outta this!”
Let make some cash!
Look, science will happen. Someone will do it whatever worries or concerns we have. The important thing is to be first. The early bird makes the cash. Think of it this way. There have been plenty computer scientists since Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. How many became as rich as them? Stop worrying about whether genetic modification should be done. It will. Nothing we can do but try and make some cash! Sound sensible? You are Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters.