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At best, my affinity for scientists translates into a deeply earned position in the long canon of non-scientists independently googling their way to armchair status. Once the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught me about the potential benefits of mutations, I would spend hours staring into a mirror pondering what I would add or subtract if given the chance to play DNA curator. By the time Hugh Jackman gave proper cinematic life to Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, I was convinced — DNA is cool.

Once simply fodder for the aforementioned franchises and a bevy of others, the thrilling world of genetic engineering has — just in the past few years — made tremendously exciting leaps toward a very accessible future. Though less impressive versions of "gene-snipping" technology have existed for several decades, the arrival and adoption of a far more sophisticated technique called Crispr-Cas9 breathes new life into the field by making damn near everything very, very possible. As noted by Wired, the future is limitless:

"[The utilization of Crispr-Cas9] allow genetics researchers to conjure everything anyone has ever worried they would — designer babies, invasive mutants, species-specific bioweapons, and a dozen other apocalyptic sci-fi tropes."

Though researchers have already been able to cease the multiplication of cancer cells and render cells "impenetrable" to HIV, new developments show such promise that Crispr researcher Jennifer Doudna recently called a meeting to "discuss the ethical implications of their work," according to The Cut. Though engineered humans certainly won't be casually strolling the planet as early as next week, such a thought is no longer a thought at all — it's the future.

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