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Bill Gates thinks it would be a ‘tragedy’ to pass up a controversial, revolutionary gene-editing technology

Bill Gates thinks it would be a ‘tragedy’ to pass up a controversial, revolutionary gene-editing technology
Don’t ask me how or why but people still trust Bill Gates. And because people trust him, when he talks they listen. Recently, in an essay published in Foreign Affairs, Gates described some of the ways genetic editing technologies have the potential to transform the world, “[I]f the world is to continue the remarkable progress of the past few decades, it is vital that scientists, subject to safety and ethics guidelines, be encouraged to continue taking advantage of such promising tools as CRISPR.”1

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And he sees all kinds of potential:

  • modifying the genes of livestock animals like tropical cows, which normally don’t produce much milk, to make them produce milk more like dairy cows.
  • making dairy cattle more resilient in hot weather, something essential in our ever-warming world
  • editing the genes of crops to make it easier for them to survive hot or arid conditions, provide more nutrients, and require less water to thrive

It should come as no surprise that Gates has long been supportive of using genetic editing tools. In fact, “he was one of the early investors in Editas Medicine, one of the first companies to start trying to use CRISPR to eliminate human diseases.”2 And his foundation researchers have worked for almost a decade on ways to use genetic editing to improve crops and wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

“CRISPR stands for Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat and is a naturally-occurring defense mechanism used by bacteria.  Like a pair of “molecular scissors,” bacteria carry the DNA of certain viruses so it can recognize them when they appear.  When they see them, the bacteria will hook up to the viral DNA and cut out the mutated piece of the strand.

Scientists have figured out how to manipulate this process and use it, at will, on viruses and other instances of DNA.  The upside is that we can destroy dangerous DNA that cause things like muscular distrophy, fatal blood diseases and even blindness.

The downside? People are afraid of it because it’s untested. There is a chance for the genetic changes to be passed down to future generations and we really don’t know the outcome or potential outcome of this serious procedure.”3

Gates also believes that CRISPR might be able to make enormous progress in the fight against malaria. By using CRISPR, researchers believe they could “fundamentally alter the DNA” of some of the 40 Anopheles species whose females can transmit malaria, thereby make the population infertile or only able to produce male offspring.

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Like many in the scientific community, Gates believes the ability to easily modify DNA is a powerful tool that could do a world of good as long as it’s done carefully, saying, “It would be a tragedy to pass up the opportunity.”

But, while the power to rewrite the genetic code for life is impressive, are there any drawbacks? And, has anyone stopped to ask if we should rewrite DNA?

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While it would be nice to be rid of the mosquitos that carry disease, I am not willing to become one of Bill Gates guinea pigs; he and others want to release GM mosquitoes in Florida (among other places). Please help us by signing the petition to keep GM mosquitoes OUT of Florida. 

Sources and References

  1. Business Insider, April 12, 2018.
  2. Business Insider, April 12, 2018.
  3. HNN, July 24, 2016.

About The Founder

Erin Elizabeth

Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is barely 4 years old, but cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock "Truth in Journalism award for 2017. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. P.S. You can subscribe to her Youtube Channel for breaking news, television appearances and more.

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