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No turning back: Why discussions on gene editing must reach the American public

| | March 15, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[F]or the first time, scientists in China announced they had successfully edited the genes of fertilized human embryos, and fully cured a genetic mutation in one of them. Now that the technology’s use in humans is quickly becoming a reality, there’s a question before us: When is it okay to use CRISPR technology to save lives, and where do we draw the line?

Most Americans are still generally fearful of biohacking, even if improves their lives, but across the world, people are examining the grey areas.

“I don’t think anyone can get this genie back in the bottle – and regulation will not be universal. Regulation will be very difficult to enforce, world-wide,” said one anonymous participant [in a recent survey].

Scientists will have to be fully committed to participating in a dialogue with the public to reach more people. They’re up against pop culture that has portrayed lab-made humans as something to be feared, in the form of movies and TV shows….

There’s a lot of work to be done if we want the public to be actual stakeholders in using CRISPR technology. If we’re not careful, the dialogue could go the way of climate change or stem cell research, which continue to be widely misunderstood.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: We Should Be Talking About Human Gene Editing At the Dinner Table

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