As Gene Manipulation Booms, Scientists Wonder, ‘How Far Should We Go?’
The ability to edit genes enmeshes scientists in an ethical debate about what it means to be a person and how the practice could change humanity as we know it.
The Washington Post:
Pondering ‘What It Means To Be Human’ On The Frontier Of Gene Editing
People in pain write to Jennifer Doudna. They have a congenital illness. Or they have a sick child. Or they carry the gene for Huntington’s disease or some other dreadful time bomb wired through every cell in their body. They know that Doudna helped invent an extraordinary new gene-editing technology, known as CRISPR. But they don’t all seek her help. One woman, the mother of a child with Down syndrome, explained: “I love my child and wouldn’t change him. There’s something about him that’s so special. He’s so loving in a way that’s unique to him. I wouldn’t change it.” The scientist tears up telling this story. “It makes you think hard about what it means to be human, doesn’t it?” she says. (Achenbach, 5/3)