Gene Drive Podcast – Science 10

Podcast Notes

What type of gene mutations did scientists edit?

  • A gene mutation responsible for a heart disease in humans.
  • It involves the gene that develops the heart muscle.

What is a germ line mutation? How many do humans have?

  • Germ line mutations are inherited mutations from one generation that have been past to the next generation.
  • There are various different germ lines (thousands).
  • Because like in DNA between humans, 99.9% of our DNA are similar with 0.1% being the component that makes us unique from each other.

Why do scientists perform gene therapy at the embryotic stage?

“The embryotic stage is the earliest stage to perform the gene therapy before the time of fertilization. Scientists were tasks to access and change the mutation, so they work at this stage because basically when the child is born, the mutation has already been incorporated in the development, so changing every effected cell (which are billions) back to normal is impossible.”

Do you agree with the practice of humans altering genomes of species? Why or why not?

“Well generally, I wouldn’t go for it because DNA is coded instructions for the development of organisms, so it seems like a delicate process to alter and it shouldn’t be messed with. However, of course the purpose of gene therapy research is to find a safe treatment of genetic diseases, so I would only agree to that.”