Does US need a ‘biology strategy’ to ensure gene editing research proceeds ethically?

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With the arrival of the gene-editing technology Crispr, biology will soon converge with everyday medicine, big agriculture, and artificial intelligence to influence the future of all life on our planet. Crispr, which allows scientists to edit precise positions on DNA using a bacterial enzyme, is already transforming cancer treatment, preventing the spread of disease, and solving global famine. Its trajectory necessarily involves government agencies and commissions, our elected officials, and the courts—and none of them are prepared for what’s coming.

The US currently has no coordinated biology strategy. As a result, Crispr, along with other emerging technologies, is developing faster than our government’s ability to address it.

How comfortable do you feel knowing that there is no group coordinating a national biology strategy in the US, and that a single for-profit company holds a critical mass of intellectual property rights to the future of genomic editing?

Without a plan, the US is left with the existing democratic instruments of change: patents, regulation, legislation, and lawsuits. And society is trusting our lawmakers, political appointees, and agency heads to apply those instruments to biological technologies that could literally change the future of humanity.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Crispr Makes It Clear: The US Needs a Biology Strategy, and Fast