The concept of modifying DNA – human or otherwise – has always been met with a lot of resistance. No one should be allowed to play God in the minds of many people. It now turns out there is a DIY kit known as CRISPR-Cas9 which can be bought online. While it may not sound appealing, this type of kit can be used to modify any DNA one needs to from the comfort of one’s own home.
At-home CRISPR Kits may Pose Problems
It is evident there is a lot of confusion and backlash when it comes to genetically modifying DNA in any capacity. While this may not necessarily apply to human DNA per se, giving people an option to successfully “hack” DNA with a kit they can order off the internet and have delivered to their home sounds highly problematic. The fact these kits are available online is disturbing enough, as not everyone needs to get their hands on this type of technology.
Many people may not have heard of CRISPR, even though it is a technology well worth paying attention to. It is a tool wielded by scientists all over the world when it comes to making minuscule changes to DNA. In most cases, they use it to modify the genetic code of microbes, plants, animals, and even humans as needed. It is evident this technology should not be used by everyone in the world, but that is now certainly a possibility.
All one needs to do is find the CRISPR-Cas9 kit online and order it. In most cases, these kits are dirt cheap, although it is unclear what the outcome will be in the end. After all, this is technology designed for scientists rather than the average person on the street. Most people have no idea what they would do with such a kit to begin with, let alone how to accurately generate a proper result from it.
While there are many potential advantages to using CRISPR kits, it is doubtful the average John Doe on the street will find a cure for cancer or eradicate infectious diseases. While we shouldn’t knock the possibility either, there is no reason whatsoever for at-home delivery of these kits for the average consumer. Rest assured there will be some people who will decide to experiment with this technology, although their mileage may vary significantly.
If there were ever a cause for a future apocalypse, it may very well be a mad scientist splicing DNA at home. Getting one’s hands on existing bacteria is not all that easy, mind you, but there are ways to do exactly that. On the internet, one can easily find guidelines on how to use such at-home kits and what can be done with them. CRISPR itself isn’t rocket science by any means, but it is certainly possible to royally mess things up at the same time.
One thing to take into account is that one does not exert “godlike” control over bacteria and the like with the help of this kit. Indeed, its instructions prevent people from messing things up in the end, and it seems common sense often prevails when it comes to at-home kits like this one. That said, there is a good reason why there are doctors and scientists who are trained to help people. Anyone in the world can access the tools, but most people won’t have the know-how to make a positive impact with them. It doesn’t seem there is any real harm in these DIY kits, although most scientists don’t see the benefit in making them accessible to everyone either.