Over-heated fears of eugenics linger over today’s genetic research, threatening advances

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‘Genes can have up to 80 per cent of influence on students’ academic performance.’ When I saw that headline recently, a shiver shot down my spine…I felt a similar discomfort when I first reported on…the genetics of psychopathic behaviour in children. What does it mean to label a child…at the very start of their lives?

This isn’t benign science. It has the power to shape social attitudes and individual destinies, and to drive prejudices and policy.

I have no doubt [CRISPR] will save lives, but it will change lives too—and, without some cautionary lessons from our past, not necessarily for the better.

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But…philosopher Julian Savalescu…argues we shouldn’t let the past get in the way of the future.

He hopes we’re on the cusp of an era of genetic enhancement—being able to tweak our genes in order to optimise our lives, not just fix diseases.

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Savalescu suggests people are terrified by genes.

‘There is this sort of genetic exceptionalism; they think there is something extremely special about genes,’ [Savalescu] says.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Mind your genes! The dark legacy of eugenics lives on

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