It’s an odd confluence of events this week that (A) the Nuffield Council, an ethics think tank, gives a thumbs up in a new report to heritable human genetic modification that would probably include using CRISPR in the same week that (B) a new paper reports that CRISPR can cause unpredictable genomic damage and several other concerning reports about possible CRISPR technology side effects or challenges have come out in the last few months. Talk about bad timing. They would probably counter my intro paragraph by saying …Read More
Is President Donald Trump a fan of eugenics? He seems to believe that he comes from greatly superior genetic stock. He hasn’t said much of anything about CRISPR ‘gene editing’ technology that can readily alter the genetic code of cells of nearly any organism, including humans, but Trump has a fascination with the concept of “good genes” that sounds eerily similar to eugenics and could link together CRISPR & Eugenics. If you watch the video above, you’ll see many striking quotes from Trump on his …Read More
Michael Zerbe spoke at our CRISPR ethics symposium here at UC Davis this past week and made some interesting points. For more on his talk and the panel he was part of, see this post. His most provocative argument was for a warning label on CRISPR papers (see above).
A recent piece on CRISPR genetic modification in the New Yorker called The Gene Hackers or Human 2.0 by Michael Specter is striking in a number of ways. I highly recommend it. The article provides an in-depth look at CRISPR and its potential use for human editing. I like how the article brings so many viewpoints to bear on this important topic. The thing that struck me the most was the recounting of a dream, really a nightmare, that left CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna …Read More