‘Unnatural Selection’: Netflix series tackles tough CRISPR issues, including biohacking and editing children’s DNA

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Image: Netflix

Is it ethical to edit your child’s DNA — or your own? Does the answer depend on whether you’re perfectly healthy or have a condition like vision loss or are dying of a degenerative disease? And does it matter whether you’ve got a PhD or never set foot in a college classroom?

A new four-episode Netflix documentary series, Unnatural Selection, takes us inside the lives of scientists and amateurs who are grappling with these questions as they use gene-editing technologies like CRISPR to perform experiments — including on themselves.

But the series is well worth watching for the access it offers to heavy hitters all along the vast spectrum of this debate, from scientist Jennifer Doudna (known for co-discovering CRISPR) to celebrity biohacker Josiah Zayner (known for injecting himself using CRISPR at a biotech conference and livestreaming the stunt).

Related article:  New breeding techniques can boost food security in Africa, report finds

“I really don’t have any moral or ethical concerns about the use of genetic engineering,” Zayner, who sells biohacking supplies out of his garage, says in Unnatural Selection. “I’m more concerned about the government regulating it so that people don’t have access to it.”

Read full, original post: Is biohacking ethical? It’s complicated. A new Netflix series explains why

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