Bioethics News

CRISPR Star Doudna Calls for Public Debate on Embryo Editing

August 4, 2017

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Tinkering with genetics, a system that has been produced through billions of years of evolution, takes humanity into unknown territory. This powerful technology can be used for many purposes, not just stopping disease. Alterations in an embryo’s edited genome would be passed along to generations of descendants — for good or ill.

Doudna, a UC Berkeley molecular biologist, said during a visit to San Diego this week that society needs to catch up to this potentially world-transforming field of science. She has co-authored a book, “A Crack in Creation,” on the benefits, perils and ethics of what scientists call germline editing.

“The question will be as the technology comes to fruition … should we use it in that fashion?” Doudna said about germline editing in a Monday interview at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s scientific meeting in San Diego.

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Image: 由Duncan.Hull – 自己的作品,CC BY-SA 4.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54379852

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San Diego Union-Tribune

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.