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Just Imagine

Designer DNA: Should we be able to reprogram our genes?

  • Story Highlights
  • We ask, to what extent should we be able to alter our own DNA?
  • Ray Kurzweil: Reprogramming DNA could expand human potential
  • Human Genetics Alert says could lead to genetic discrimination, social issues
  • What do you think? Post your views in the Sound Off box below.
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(CNN) -- This month, Just Imagine focused on the future of nature and the ways in which it can inspire solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing humanity today.

A digital representation of the human genome.

A digital representation of the human genome.

Yet as scientists gain a greater understanding of biological processes, they're also learning how to manipulate them, including the very essence of what makes us human -- our DNA.

Biotechnology advances are already helping scientists find groundbreaking ways to create personalized medicine, detect illnesses and eradicate disease.

And this, according to futurist Ray Kurzweil, is only the beginning. In the future, humans will be able to reverse the aging process, replace dying organs with younger ones grown from an individual's own DNA and even genetically engineer unborn children, he said.

But some, like the UK-based group Human Genetics Alert, worry the ability to reprogram our biochemistry could lead mankind into unknown territory with dangerous ramifications for the future, including genetic discrimination and even a redefinition of what it means to be human.

We want to hear your views. To what extent should we be able to alter our genetic makeup? Should there be a limit? And how should it be determined exactly what that limit is?

Post your comments in the Sound Off box below. We'll publish the best.

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