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What do Americans think about the editing of genes in human embryos? – Quartz


With advances in the development of genes and recent Chinese experiments on babies, the question of whether it is ethical to genetically modify humans has left the field of science fiction and philosophical speculation to enter into a very near future

Is it acceptable, or even desirable, to generate baby edulis out of the disease, for example? Is this equivalent to eugenics? It seems that the debate is less heated than it would be expected, at least in America: according to a survey by AP-NORC (a research initiative of the Associated Press and the University of Chicago) about attitudes towards the technology of # 39; gene editing, a solid majority said they were in favor of this when it was about preventing illnesses.

The survey, which reached 1,067 adults in the US, found that only 12% of respondents considered it acceptable to intervene through genetic modification to improve intelligence or physical dexterity. This went down to 10% to change a physical attribute such as the color of the eyes.

But 65% were fine with intervening in human genes to prevent non-fatal conditions, such as blindness. An even greater percentage (67%) would be well with the use of gene editing to prevent diseases such as cancer and 71% is in favor of that for incurable hereditary diseases (fibrosis cystic, for example, or Huntington's disease).

As a comparison, a higher percentage of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in all and in most cases. These people specifically include those who reject abortion motivated by the baby's health, particularly when it comes to genetically inherited conditions, even mortals. Many abortion activists discredit practices in countries such as Denmark, where the law allows for abortion, in the case of, for example, the fetuses with Down syndrome, which has led to the next elimination of the illness However, the results of this survey suggest that most Americans believe that genetically inherited conditions are something that is worth editing outside of a genome.

What is perhaps even more interesting is that the percentage of people who are opposed to intervention in any case of medical problems is less than 20%, and only about 70% when it comes to altering others shots, such as abilities or physical functions. This means that three out of every ten Americans are in favor or, in a way, with the modification of genes for non-health reasons, although, as found in the survey, 52% of Americans They consider that the editing of genes would be used for non-ethical reasons.

However, Americans are not particularly enthusiastic about the idea that the federal government spends taxpayers' money to fund gene research: 48% is opposed to the idea and only the 25% approves it.

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