Recently the California General Assembly passed a law against so-called “do-it-yourself” gene hacking.
Modern technology makes it possible to edit the human genome. While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, we’ve seen headlines recently about scientists in China who have edited human genes and tried to create human/animal hybrids.
Gene-editing technologies like CRISPR have hit the open market, but California, of all states, seems to want to do something about it.
John Stonestreet at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview writes,
The [California] Assembly passed, and Governor Newsom signed, a bill that prohibits the sale of do-it-yourself genetic engineering kits—unless the kit has a label warning that it is “not for self-administration.”
Hey, it’s a start. As noted at Vox, Silicon Valley is home to the biohacking movement, which, in essence, attempts to extend life through technology. But tinkering with the human genome poses enormous risks not only to those who self-edit their genes, but to the public at large.
One Oakland biohacker has been selling such kits, so it’s entirely appropriate that California has now passed the “first-ever legislation addressing emerging CRISPR technology, [which] will help prevent safety mishaps by amateur users of CRISPR kits.”
CRISPR is the same gene-editing technology that scientists have used to clone and kill human embryos for research.
As we have said many times, human beings are not research material, but gene-hacking technologies like CRISPR treat them that way.
All scientific research must respect the sanctity of human life.