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Topic 1: Gene Editing in today’s world (CRISPR-Cas9)

Topic 2: Immunization & Vaccines- crucial for

Epidemic Prevention

 

Difficulty Level: Standard

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Topic 1: Gene Editing in today’s world (CRISPR-Cas9)

 

Gene editing is the increasingly growing practice of altering specific genetic sequences from an organism’s DNA. This is done for various reasons, like strengthening a crop’s ability to thrive when faced with a challenge it would otherwise not be able to overcome on its own. 

All the way to editing viruses and even in recent times humans. 

 

There has always been an interest in understanding the human body in as much depth as possible, it is through medicine and biology that this practice is possible. Ever since the discovery of DNA and its importance to our composition was discovered it has become the ultimate goal to be able to change it- manipulate it for the better. A major step in this direction was decoding the first human genome. With this information re-writing, the human genome became an attainable goal. It was through this that the technology of Crisper-Cas9 came about, the question is however how should it be used and what regulations should apply?


Topic 2: Immunization & Vaccines- crucial for Epidemic Prevention

 

In recent times we have seen a rise in epidemics and spread of disease. It happens every year with the measles, happened with the Zika virus in 2015, and let us not forget the devastation caused by the Ebola virus. According to the CDC over the two year period that the Ebola (EVD) outbreak lasted, 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

 

Diseases like the measles are the number one cause of vaccine-preventable death in infants across the globe, for this reason, their extermination should be a fight worth fighting. A recent ideology against vaccines has gained popularity, parents who choose to willingly keep their children from being vaccinated because of the potential side effects that said vaccines might have; or those who decide to skip some vaccines and follow their own vaccination schedule. A popular belief is that vaccines cause some children to develop autism however this had not been proven. Vaccines come with a slight potential of risk, according to the WHO around 5% of the vaccines are likely to cause a side effect to the child/person administered. On the other hand, the benefits of vaccines have to be considered because in most case scenarios the benefits outweigh the potential side effects. Therefore, to what extent should they be administrated?