Could Genetic Editing Give Us Real-Life ‘Rampage’ Monsters?

If you watched the trailer for the upcoming Rock actioner Rampage (based on the video game series of the same name), then you probably heard Naomie Harris’ character drop the sciencey term “genetic editing.”

Basically, by altering a gorilla, wolf or alligator at the genetic level, you can get giant, city-crushing monsters.

Sounds scary, but what’s scarier (but also more interesting from a scientific perspective) is that gene editing is a real thing.

So could it give us Rampage-sized monsters? Let’s take a look!


1. Rampage And The Rock


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest movie Rampage deals with the idea of genetic engineering. While it’s loosely based on a computer game from the 1980s, it tries to deal with a modern concept. Its message is “genetic engineering is dangerous” and could create monsters to destroy humanity. The Rock’s job is, of course, to deal with these monsters.


2. How Realistic Is This Idea?


Is Rampage purely science fiction or is it possibly heading towards “science fact”? Well, to work that out we need to move past The Rock and start looking at genetic engineering in the world today, and fortunately, we have some past examples of the state-of-the-art technology to give us some answers. So let’s take a peek at them.


3. Past Performance Is Not Always A Guide To Future Performance


Market speculators love to entice us with the idea that things will do well in the future because they have in the past, but they have to point out that this isn’t always true. Genetic engineering has been quite common in society since the 1990s when the first genetically modified crops came on the scene. They have caused a lot of controversies, as you can imagine.


4. Controversy Comes From Misunderstanding

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Genetically-modified food may have had doomsayers predicting the death of crops and the destruction of the eco-system, but the truth is that it’s been remarkable how little disruption to the natural order has come through genetic modifications of crops. They may have been controversial, but the net negative impact of genetically-modified food crops has been next to nothing. But what about new technologies?

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