September 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

What if I could make designer babies for you? My TED talk

What’s it like to give a TED talk and could there be designer babies in your future as a parent?

On Halloween I gave a TEDxVienna talk (click above) on giving consideration to the possibility that we may be headed toward a new reality in the next 15 years in which there are designer babies. What would that mean for society? Could a new eugenics be gaining ground? How would a world with designer babies impact us all individually?

How do we promote the valuable CRISPR-based research going on in labs around the world, but at the same time reduce the risk of negative outcomes with premature clinic attempts at human modification?

I also discuss my own family’s history where they had to leave their home in Vienna due to the eugenics of World War II.
CRISPR designer baby talk

In my talk I also mention last week’s summit at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS; #GeneEditSummit) that tackled the path forward. My view as articulated in my TED talk was that we need a moratorium, but the NAS meeting did not reach that consensus.

Where do we go from here?

If you are interested in this topic, other resources include a Reddit AMA that I did yesterday and my new book, GMO Sapiens.

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