CYSTIC FIBROSIS is an incurable disease affecting the body’s Epithelial Cells; these cells form a layer which coats, cleans, lubricates, and protects those passages of the body which constantly come in contact with things ingested or inhaled from the outside world– passages such as those of the gastrointestinal tract and the pulmonary system.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is not caused by a bacterium or by a virus, but stems from the deepest, most physically fundamental part of our personal identity– our DNA– the master blueprint instructing our body how to construct and repair itself. Actually, DNA is not just a blueprint, it is more like a blueprint for blueprints… From the DNA come the directions for building every specialized unit in the body, as well as every configuration of units, and cconfigurations of configurations.
DNA instructs the body in the building and timing of every construction– from the smallest protein strand to the largest cells– from the smallest organ to the largest system of organs. It is entirely due to DNA (and the flexibility it builds into its creations) that the body becomes and maintains itself as such an amazing machine-of-collaborating machines.
Since the DNA of infants is put-together from parental DNA, the best way to fight Cystic Fibrosis long-term would be to keep babies with Cystic Fibrosis from being created in the womb. And the simplest way to do that would be, of course, to keep a couple who have a relatively high chance of producing CF babies from procreating with each other. Screening-technologies, if used correctly across the globe, could go a long toward wiping out this awful disease.
Unfortunately, there is much prejudice (and actual legal precedent) against this most logical approach. People have the erroneous notion that it is a fundamental human right to procreate with whomever you want, damn the consequences (and, in some cases, damn the offspring as well). But why should people be so stubbornly callous in this regard?… Cousins are routinely kept from marrying each other due to the increased likelihood of bad genetic combinations.
Fighting CF and other genetic diseases is really no different– it is merely keeping two people, who together carry two sets of genes which should not be intermixed, from intermixing. It is the most logical, most powerful, and most humane way to combat inheritable disease.
Another “pre-genetic” strategy for fighting CF would be the manipulation of sperm and egg cells at the very onset of conception so that no CF-causing genes are created in the offspring. However, this method, even if it were to become feasible for the masses, seems exotic and extreme when compared to the far simpler method of just keeping bad DNA-combinations from happening.