CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna on why we need human gene-editing regulations

, | | March 10, 2020
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Credit: Ernesto Del Aguila/NHGRI
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In this episode of Reset, host Arielle Duhaime-Ross talks with Jennifer Doudna about the promise and peril in CRISPR’s future, what’s next, and how we can edit our genes safely and responsibly.

[ADR:] What would it take for you to feel comfortable about a clinical trial that would change a person’s DNA in a way that would allow that change to be passed on to that person’s offspring?

[JD:] I think first and foremost, one would have to identify a real medical need for that and that real need is, right now, certainly, difficult to identify.

[ADR:] Do you often think about the potential ways that this technology down the line could end up being used? Do you often worry about things like eugenics?

Related article:  Can the gene editing technology known as CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

[JD:] I think that’s frankly right now still at the level of science fiction. It’s not something that’s going to happen anytime soon. … It does allow control of genes and control of genes in families, and I think that it’s essential that we be tackling that issue right now, not running from it, but saying, look, this is a powerful tool. It has this potential and we need to already be thinking about how it could be used safely and how we appropriately regulate it.

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