What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


Yes, performing CRISPR is easy on your cheek cells.

Now, order an online kit to isolate an embryo in utero.


Sure, gearbest.com will have it for 20% off for Single’s Day.


Yep, there it is!

Seriously, though, you easily buy dental probes and drills online, and probably score some novacaine if you really tried. All those things have been around for decades. And Reddit is always a good source for knowledge.

So, why isn’t DIY dentistry more popular?




Right. Now imagine DIY dentistry on a tooth located behind your bladder


I don’t think that’s as good as a cure. It basically says screw you to the people that have it. I’d prefer a cure. I mean if you can cure Huntingtons why would you prefer genetic manipulation over that? I don’t see how we’re ever going to get to a point where ever baby is genetically “fixed” first, but if we can get a cure that can spread quickly.

Common? Common where and for whom? We don’t have great infant mortality, today, in a rich and developed country. You think the group that doesn’t even get standard care through pregnancy is somehow going to line up and pay for gene alterations? and that’s just one country.


We can’t cure Huntingtons.


Not today. You don’t know what we can and can’t do in the future. The road in history is pathed with people saying we can’t do something, and then we do. Genetic manipulation of pre-born babies is not a replacement for cures.


have you tried to give yourself a haircut? Scissors are readily available on Amazon and brick and mortar.

Edit: Disclosure so I don’t seem dicky, I have. And apparently it is immediately obvious because the first thing my friends say is “What happened to your hair?”


Lots of people cut their children’s hair. My mom did. She was decent at it without any formal training. But I wouldn’t let her try her hand at home dentistry, much less genetic engineering.


I was never making that claim. Not in any way saying that we shouldn’t also work on a cure.

But, if you look historically, there are plenty of diseases we have “cured” through prevention.

A lot of these genetic disorders are hopelessly difficult to cure due to their complexity, and it will absolutely be a world we live in where we have children that will never know the horrors of Parkinson’s disease, while older people can only use gene therapies to treat symptoms if not cure. Because without pre-birth intervention there will still be permanent damage done, even if the disease is cured.

It happened with polio, it is STILL happening with polio

Polio is “cured” via Vaccination (unless you are a monster who wants their kids to risk this disease, and opts out of vaccination) but there is not much we can do for those who were born with the disease pre-vaccination.

These are 2 separate avenues of research right now, and I don’t think we should push one forward over the other, but changing genes in an egg/sperm/embryo is a much simpler task that doing so in a fully grown child or adult.


Well this isn’t entirely true though. As a society we didn’t stop improving the lives of those with disabilities and limitations. If you have some severe physical and mental issues today, there is still a lot more you can do in society than you could do 100 or even 50 years ago. We’re also using genetic manipulation, today, in adults, to address medical issues. Gene therapy is a thing, in adults. I am not saying we’re going to have some miracle cure for every diseases, genetically based or otherwise either.

But again, this idea that fixing unborn babies will somehow be the answer… again for whom? The rich. The wealthy the white? This is not going to be cheap or accessible. It will be for the privileged few in societies of privilege. Our vaccines, those can be widely available, widely adopted.


Wow, what happened to the thread that started with a watch that shoots laser beams and a guy sticking a metal file into an electrical outlet? A pause for our original programming:


OK, back to the serious discussion (which is really interesting btw).


This is 100% not true for the article I linked, where the few polio survivors sit in 50 year old machines with no viable modern alternative. There literally is nothing we have done for them.


Well, I meant literally do-it-yourself, as in do it yourself in front of a mirror. It is not easy, and I imagine dentistry is harder.

I did have these scrapping tools when I was a kid. I think my dentist was a family friend and told us to buy it or something? We also had this red dye stuff that stuck to plaque so it was easy to identify? I don’t remember what it was.


We have done a lot for people with a number of diseases… I understand your specific example of Polio doesn’t fit that criteria, but that’s not true for all the diseases and/or disabilities. Polio was your example, not mine. You’re also not addressing the fact that vaccines are widely available. We can actually provide that to millions of people… you think we can scale genetic manipulation like that?

What makes you think we can get genetic manipulation available to even most expectant mothers around the world, including the ones that survive on less than a dollar a day. You’re not really addressing that piece at all.


I don’t know, but I certainly said that I wouldn’t want it to be something only the rich could afford

We definitely can’t create something that will physically alter classes of people, it needs to be done as a whole.

Why is it my job to address this? I have no clue, I have a science background, not a humanitarian or political one. I have no clue how that could be addressed, only that it should be. Or else we end up in Gattaca.


No one has a clue. Therefore,

Step one: End project


Step two: Disavow goals


Step three: Wash hands

“I think the failure was his, not the scientific community,” Ms. Charo said.

And check!


Well I am not holding you responsible for solving it. Isn’t this kind of why we’re in this topic. What could possibly go wrong? Well let’s see. how widely available is fertility procedures… not that widely available actually and it’s expensive. These gene manipulation cures, how widely available are those… actually not that widely available. There are only a limited number of health systems doing it working with highly specialized providers located in mostly wealthy nations servicing primarily wealthy patients.

Now let’s look at our vaccines which not only benefits the person who receives the vaccines but actually benefits those around them, like the ones that can’t take it do to something like an autoimmune disease… protect the herd even if a few can’t take it.

And speaking of unborn babies:

Our laws are crap when it comes to dealing with this stuff now.

I am not saying we should stop looking at the possibilities here, but be realistic and continue with other efforts. These are limited resources though. I don’t think one so-called perfect baby outweighs millions, and that perfect baby, we wont’ really know how perfect these babies will be until generations later anyway. And this particular case… not really the right way to do it.

We’re going to wind up with designer labeled babies and not some sort of hope for humanity.


Like all medical breathroughs, yes, it will go to the ultra-rich first, and then middle-class people in the US with good insurance, then people in countries with socialized medicine will have the opportunity to fight for it, and then, eventually, when it gets ubiquitous and cheap, poor people in the US.