US adults wary of gene editing: What does that mean for medicine?

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The Pew survey revealed that 50 percent of U.S. adults said they would not want genetic editing and 68 percent were worried about it, even if it gave their future child a much reduced disease risk. Furthermore, 66 percent of U.S. adults said that they would not want anything implanted in their brain to improve their cognitive abilities and 69 percent were worried about it.

Interestingly enough, 81 percent of U.S. adults do believe that artificially made organs will be available for routine transplant…and 54 percent believe that computer chips will be routinely embedded in our bodies. So why the apparent discord between the beliefs that we are marching toward progress, yet the reluctance to make those changes that will allow us to do so?

So taken altogether, what do the attitudes of American people mean for biotechnology researchers and the clinicians of the not-so-distant future? [I]t is abundantly clear that any technology that has the potential to “alter” who we are in the fundamental sense and results in a permanent change to the individual…will have to be outcomes-researched into oblivion.

And most important, there will have to be a cultural shift in the mindset of the public…to administer therapies that might push the boundaries of the unknown.

[Study can be read here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why are Americans wary of advances in biotechnology?

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