Science Genetic Engineering and the 1% 


written for CCNews by Mike Sterling

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Great steps are occurring in genetic engineering.  Much of the progress can be of immediate service to humanity.

At the same time as science moves inexorably ahead, so too does income inequality and lack of access to first class health care in many countries.

It is true that humans now are on the verge of altering their genes to produce strains of humanity engineered to be and achieve certain goals.  Who would not want their progeny to be smarter, stronger ...  We often hear the refrain  "I want my children and grandchildren to be ..."

Who would deny that great value is attached to the genetic influence in the susceptibility to certain forms of cancer?

It's hard to avoid the next step in this search for excellence.  Will the poor become poorer and more sickly still by comparison?  Will the disadvantaged have a lack of access to future genetic tools?  What safeguards and ethics are involved here?

Historically spreading good things evenly is not the way the world works.  There is no doubt that the rich grow richer and in many ways it is hard to deny that they also have ways to get healthier.

How much will it cost a poor person to avail themselves of genetic engineering for themselves and their progeny?  If the rich are first in line as they will be, how large will the gap grow between the 1% and the rest of us?

Will genetic engineering be trickle down  like 'Trickle Down Economics'?

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Saturday, January 23, 2016