The Pros And Cons Of Genetically Engineering Humans

  • Humans have been genetically engineering organisms for thousands of years using selective breeding (as opposed to natural selection).
  • Starting in the 1970’s, humans started modifying the DNA directly of plants and animals, creating GMO foods, etc.
  • Today, half a million babies are born each year using in vitro fertilization (IVF). Increasingly, this includes sequencing the embryos to screen them for diseases, and bringing the most viable embryo to term (a form of genetic engineering, without actually making edits).
  • In 2018, He Jiankui created the first genetically modified babies in China.
  • In 2019, a number of FDA approved clinical trials for gene therapies have begun.



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Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong


Co-Founder and CEO at @Coinbase. Increasing economic freedom in the world. Join us: