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.

Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


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It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable. Leaders from state and local governments across the U.S. have flattened the curve of some of our most basic constitutional rights, but some Americans are fighting back — and risking jail time or losing their businesses.

On Wednesday night's GBTV special, Glenn Beck argued that we're witnessing the birth of a new civil rights movement — and it's time to build a coalition of common sense to keep America as we know it free.

Watch the full special below:

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below: