Readers weigh in on human gene editing and more

The possibility that human visitors could carry Earth-based microbes to the Red Planet has roiled the Mars research community, Lisa Grossman reported in “How to keep humans from ruining the search for life on Mars” (SN: 1/20/18, p. 22).

Reader Bruce Merchant speculated that Mars would need a protective global magnetic field to sustain a life-friendly environment. But the planet’s core cannot generate such a field, he wrote. Merchant suggested that the presence or absence of magnetic fields might be one way to tell whether a planet could support life. “Can we determine that for exoplanets?” he asked.

It’s unclear if a planet needs a core that produces a magnetic field to support any kind of life, Grossman says, “but that question is definitely something astrobiologists fret about.” We don’t have a way to determine from afar if an exoplanet has a core that would generate magnetic fields, she says. “But finding life on a planet with no magnetic field would be one way to test how necessary such fields are.”

Moral dilemma

If CRISPR and other gene-editing tools are approved for use in human embryos, some parents may feel morally obligated to use such a tool to give their children the best life possible, Tina Hesman Saey reported in “Parents may one day be morally obligated to edit their baby’s genes” (SN: 1/20/18, p. 4).

Several readers weighed in with their views on human gene editing.

Karla Garcia thought that using genetic editing to eliminate disease and improve life…

Follow Me


COO at oneQube
COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
Follow Me

More from Around the Web

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from our network of site partners.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest