Most Americans Have No Idea How Genetic Technology Works - It's About to Change Everything

In 2015, a groundbreaking study authored by several Chinese researchers sparked both imagination and concern in the world of genetic science and synthetic biology. The scientists had used a technology called CRISPR to modify the DNA of a days old human embryo. Just last week, British scientists published the latest experiment using CRISPR on embryos, following similar work in the United States.

These achievements have spurred intense debate over ethical questions related to the wisdom of making literally life-changing choices for the next generation. The overwhelming response from governmental commissions, scholars, and scientists is to call for amorphous public conversations in order to achieve an ill-defined, society-wide consensus on how to proceed. However, the American public is not equipped to participate in these necessary debates, since even a basic treatment of these new technologies has not yet been included in most K-12 science curricula. It falls to experts to actively engage citizens in order to prepare them to find the right approach to these powerful technologies.

This technology could stop disease in its tracks.

The discoveries gleaned from the Chinese, American, and British experiments on human embryos usher in an era of medicine in which we will have incredible control over the genes of the next generation. This technology could stop disease in its tracks and prevent deaths from diseases like hemophilia and sickle cell anemia. Yet there are important and difficult ethical questions bound up with these benefits; namely, is it moral to modify the genes of our children and what should be the limits of this ability? These questions ought to be publicly debated by experts and citizens alike. But a concrete, productive debate requires adequate education on the technology involved.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is an essential part of the immune systems of bacteria and has been present in these organisms since their early development. It allows bacteria to destroy invading viruses by searching for and cutting up specific parts of the viral DNA, thus disabling the virus. By modifying the guide sequence that the CRISPR system uses to search out and cut the target DNA, scientists found that they could effectively modify a cell’s genetic code. And in 2012, several scientists discovered a way to drastically reduce the time and complexity involved in modifying genes, causing an explosion of research using the CRISPR system.

CRISPER . . . could quickly lead to eugenics and systematic extermination.

While there are clear health benefits, these technological advances also raise the specter of eugenics, the practice of controlling human breeding in order to move future generations toward some vision of the ideal human. The brutal extermination of Jews and other minority groups conducted by Nazi Germany demonstrates that allowing governments to use technology like CRISPR in combination with the power of coercion to dictate features of our children could quickly lead to eugenics and systematic extermination. Bold citizens who know the pros and cons of genetic technology and how it works will not allow their government to implement modern day, Nazi-like, eugenics practices. They will decide the uses and limits of genetic technology.

Several studies have been completed to try to gauge public attitude toward using CRISPR in human embryos. They have shown, among other things, that education heavily affects how a person perceives the acceptability of genetic technology. Unfortunately, at this point, most Americans do not fully understand the technical and ethical dimensions of CRISPR, mainly because science curricula below the graduate level lags behind the current research. Without this basic understanding, it is impossible to have the conversation needed to sort through these difficult questions.

Experts in government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have attempted public education campaigns about serious issues before. The FDA has an entire division dedicated to answering consumer questions and producing high-quality education materials on its website. The “Real Cost” campaign against adolescent tobacco smoking that the agency undertook proved to be extremely effective in alerting kids to the dangers of smoking. Similar attempts could be made to educate the public on genetic technology.

We need more than nice-sounding buzzwords.

The pace of research is moving quickly and commercial applications will not be far behind, which means that it is even more important to engage the public soon. Sweden is already undertaking experiments similar to those of the British scientists and South Korean researchers are lobbying the government to scrap regulations barring genetic experiments with embryos.

Government, medicine, and the public need to be ready to safely maximize the benefits of genetic modification. This demands concrete, practical solutions and an educated citizenry that understands both the benefits and pitfalls of genetic technology. We need more than nice-sounding buzzwords and abstract, nebulous calls for broad conversations. Continually repeating such impractical nonsense like “broad societal consensus” doesn’t count.

Jordan Reimschisel is a research assistant focusing on public policy aspects of genetic technology. He is a Young Voices Advocate.

How many times must the corporate media get something completely wrong — and attack anyone who dares to disagree — before we realize who they have become?

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck shared an article from the Daily Caller titled, "Eight Anti-Trump Narratives the Media Finally Had to Admit Were False All Along." From the Lafayette Square controversy to the denial that COVID-19 could have anything to do with a lab in China to the "Russian bounties" story, the list of mainstream media conspiracy theories goes on and on. If it were anyone but the liberal media who got the facts this embarrassingly wrong, they would have been out of a job long ago.

Watch the video clip below to hear eight of the most anti-Trump the narratives shamelessly pushed by the media — that were completely wrong.


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Former President Barack Obama sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper recently for an interview scheduled to air in full on Friday. During the interview, Obama scoffed at the idea that critical race theory could be a "threat to our Republic," while claiming that "right-wing media venues" are "stoking the fear and resentment of a white population."

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck set the record straight: the right-wing media's efforts to call out the far-left have nothing to do with race in America, but rather everything to do with protecting our way of life that is being threatened more and more each day by the radical, Marxist ideology seeping into government.

"Mr. Obama, you lied," Glenn asserted. "You used the IRS to hunt down your enemy. You spied on the media. And your health care package, which was supposed to save every American $3,000 per year, has helped some, perhaps, while raising the cost of everyone's health care in double and triple percentages. But the worst thing that you did, is you planted, you watered, and you protected the Marxist seeds, by crying race."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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Our sacred republic has never been in more danger than it is today. Little by little, industry by industry, the far Left is fundamentally transforming the country we love. And it's an aggressive, hostile kind of takeover we've only seen in some of the world's darkest societies.

On Glenn TV this week, Glenn Beck exposes how the Biden administration and Democrats are aggressively scrambling to reset everything: our free and fair voting system, our kids' education, our policing, immigration and border security, our economy, our military, and our energy supply.

Finally, Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) joins to discuss how Biden's "woke" policies are threatening America's national security and our way of life.

Watch the full episode below:

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Apparel company The North Face recently stated that it would no longer make jackets for oil and gas companies because it doesn't want to be associated with the fossil fuel industry. In response, Colorado-based oil and gas company Liberty Oilfield Services rented full billboard ads to remind The North Face of the truth: "Globally, 60% of all clothing fibers are made out of oil and gas. For North Face, it is likely 90% or more."

Liberty CEO Chris Wright joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss just how much of our economy — beyond outdoor apparel and energy — wouldn't exist in a world without fossil fuels. And he warns that many companies are now deeming this truth to be "controversial."

"I have been for years, trying to get a real, honest dialogue about energy going," Chris told Glenn. "So we took this opportunity to point out that North Face jackets are ... almost completely made out of oil and gas. How can you choose not to associate with the essential material your equipment [is] made out of? So we put a billboard up ... the billboard says, 'That North Face puffer looks good on you. And it was made from fossil fuels.'"

"Most billboard companies did not want to run that billboard. They thought it was controversial," he added. "And Facebook put a hold on our brief video just saying the jacket looks good, this is what it's made out of. In today's world, that is controversial."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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