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Dat Nguyen

EllenMae Johnson
Biology 1090
4 OCT 2017
News Analysis Assignment

1. Cite the name of the news source, the article title, the date, and the byline (the
reporters name). Paste a link to the article here (in Canvas)
Scientific American, Chinese Scientists Fix Genetic Disorder in Cloned Human
Embryos. 10/2/2017. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/chinese-scientists-
fix-genetic-disorder-in-cloned-human-embryos/

2. What are the main conclusions of the scientist(s)?

The main conclusions of the scientists is that scientists were able to fix a genetic
mutation that would cause potential fatal blood disorder in embryos by altering the
DNA in order to prevent early stages of development. This could be a breakthrough
for stem cell research and embryo planting.

3. What are some possible impacts this information could have on society or on
individuals?

This is very good news for woman who could not conceive and choose to go through
the treatment of infertility through embryo planting. They can be reassured that their
child wont carry some harmful genes that would cause health problems later on. The
impact that this has on society as a whole is people may be more open to the idea of
cloning and artificially altering DNA.

4. Are other scientists, or policy-makers, mentioned as being in disagreement with the


research scientists? If so, what might make you tend to take their doubts seriously (or
not take them seriously)?
Yes, some American scientists raised doubt by this process saying that there could be
unintentional consequences. They called it off-target effects). I did not take this
doubt seriously because the news article stated that there were none in this
experiment. What I did take seriously was the criticism that not all of the 8 embryos
were fixed. They explained that some embryos are mosaic meaning they have a
different patchwork of cells with different genes which is potentially dangerous.
5. Are scientists mentioned in the article affiliated with a nonpartisan group, like a
University or Government, or affiliated with a for-profit corporation? If the latter, do
you suspect that altered their conclusions?
Yes, the team of scientists that led this research were from a University in China but I
do not suspect that this altered their conclusions because at the end of the article they
still admit that there needs to be more extensive research and that their future
experiments will be more comprehensive. I believe that they have a lot of
credibility also because they were the first to edit out the mutation responsible for a
recessive disease: one caused by having two faulty copies of a gene.

6. In what ways did the article change and expand your views of the topic? If it did not
change or expand your views, describe what you knew about the subject before
reading the article.

The news article gave me some hope, I feel like we are getting closer and closer to
being able to fix genetic disorders and alter genes to our best interests. I did not know
too much about altering genes in embryos, I only knew that you could clone embryos.
I invested in a company called Invo Biosciences years ago and they specialize in
treating infertility by dealing with embryos. Being able to alter genes in embryos is
exciting but at the same time scary. I hope there are a lot more research to be done
before this is a common standard of practice.

7. Do you think the reporter did a good job or a bad job giving background for the
story? Please give an example to support your opinion.

I believe that the reporter did a great job giving background for the story. The title is
catching which is why I clicked on it. He also pointed out earlier works of the team of
scientists in order to make the article more credible. After knowing what the team of
scientists accomplished in the past, they were no longer just some Chinese
scientists.
The reporter also kept the article interesting but did not lean on too much hope or
false hope. In other words, he did not sugar coat it and at the end he reported on the
challenges to be faced and also some criticism.