Biotechnology is creating ethical worriesand weve been here before

News Summary

  • Another barrier comes from the fact that deploying this technology hinges on informed consent by the local population, which is difficult when some local languages don’t have a word for “gene.”The third concern is focused on gain-of-function studies that create more transmissible or pathogenic viruses in a laboratory.
  • Their identities are classified for their protection, but presumably their health is being monitored, and the poor girls have probably already been poked and prodded incessantly by every type of medical specialist there is.The second is the use of gene drives.
  • These studies are purportedly done to get a better understanding of what makes viruses more dangerous, so in an ideal world, we could prepare for the eventuality of one occurring naturally.
  • Or even competent, much less good at it.As a historian of science, Cobb spends much of the book putting his fears in context.
  • Over the past decade or so, as CRISPR was discovered and applied to genetic remodeling, he started to get concerned—afraid, actually—about three potential applications of the technology.
  • So he decided to delve into these topics, and As Gods: A Moral History of the Genetic Age is the result.The first of his worries is the notion of introducing heritable mutations into the human genome.
1 with 1 posters participatingMatthew Cobb is a zoologist and author whose background is in insect genetics and the history of science. Over the past decade or so, as CRISPR was discovered and appl [+5443 chars]