December 10, 2015 – CRISPR
Anchor lead: What do you need to know about the gene editing method called CRISPR? Elizabeth Tracey reports
CRISPR is the name of a technology that enables changes to be made to DNA that will then persist in all related offspring, with a recent publication revealing its use in a human embryo. Debra Mathews, a bioethicist in the Johns Hopkins Berman Bioethics Institute, and colleagues, have published a paper in the journal Nature calling for broad discussion and policy formation relative to this issue.
Mathews: This technology, which does in fact have the ability to much more precisely than we ever have been able to do before, edit the human genome. That has tremendous power to eliminate disease, but if we are going to use this technology in human reproduction, this is something we haven’t done before, and it’s a question not just for scientists, not just for policy makers, but for all of us to make together about the kind of world we want to live in. :30
Mathews encourages everyone to become educated about CRISPR and related technologies and to voice their opinion to policy makers. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.