PTE Write Essay Task Sample 221

Read the passage below and summarize it using one sentence. Type your response in the box at the bottom of the screen. You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.

CRISPR-Cas9: Gene Editing in the 21st Century

The field of gene editing, specifically using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, has ushered in a new era in genetics and biotechnology. CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a revolutionary gene-editing tool that allows scientists to modify genes with unprecedented precision. This breakthrough has opened up a realm of possibilities and ethical dilemmas.

On one hand, CRISPR-Cas9 has the potential to cure genetic diseases by repairing faulty genes. It offers hope to patients suffering from conditions like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. Moreover, it can be employed in agriculture to create genetically modified crops that are more resilient and nutritious, potentially alleviating global food shortages.

However, the ethical concerns surrounding CRISPR are profound. The ability to edit the human germline, altering genes that can be passed down to future generations, raises moral questions about designer babies and the unintended consequences of genetic manipulation. It also poses ecological risks when applied to plants and animals, potentially disrupting ecosystems.

Furthermore, equitable access to CRISPR technology is a pressing issue. Its development and use are predominantly concentrated in affluent countries, creating a global divide in access to its benefits and raising questions of social justice.

The journey of CRISPR-Cas9 from laboratory discovery to practical applications is fraught with scientific, ethical, and societal challenges. Striking a balance between the potential for medical breakthroughs and the need for responsible and equitable use of this technology is a critical concern in the biotechnological landscape of the 21st century.