“CRISPR, Human Gene Editing, and Esvelt’s Regret”
This week you are exploring how emerging DNA technologies impact our society. For your primary post, respond to one of the following three topics and be sure to answer each of the questions. Also, please reply to at least one fellow student on any topic.
Topic 1 : Jennifer Doudna on CRISPR. View the NBC News story about CRISPR (1)*, including an interview with its co-discoverer, Jennifer Doudna. Then, address the following questions:
- (a) What applications of CRISPR look particularly promising for improving human well-being?
- (b) What sort of ethical issues have arisen or are likely to arise with the deployment of CRISPR?
Topic 2 [Reading]: Societal Aspects of Human Gene Editing. Read the article by Neuhaus (2)* and/or the article by Ossola (3)*, then address the following:
- (a) What do you think our procedures, regulations, and laws ought to be regarding human genome editing, with CRISPR (or any other tool)?
- (b) Explain your rationale.
Topic 3 [Reading]: Esvelt’s Regret. In the article by Zimmer (4)*, Kevin Esvelt says that he made a huge mistake by championing the application of a technology that he now says is far too dangerous to actually deploy. Based on the article, address the following:
- (a) What is the technology that he championed? What does it consist of and why does he think it’s too risky to use outside the lab?
- (b) In your opinion, what sorts of laws and regulations, if any, should society put into place to regulate the technology that Esvelt regrets championing?
*References (in Strayer Writing Standards format).
- NBC News, June 11, 2017. Life changer, https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/life-changer-965215299885
- Carolyn P. Neuhaus, March 16, 2017. Genome editing: bioethics shows the way. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2001934
- Alexandra Ossola, August 6, 2015. Should bioethicists “get out of the way” of CRISPR research?, https://www.popsci.com/should-bioethicists-get-out-way-crispr-research
- Carl Zimmer, November 16, 2017. ‘Gene drives’ are too risky for field trials, scientists say, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/science/gene-drives-crispr.html?_r=0