In October of 2020, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery of an adaptable, easy way to edit genomes, known as CRISPR, which has transformed the world of genetic engineering.
CRISPR has been used to fight lung cancer and correct the mutation responsible for sickle cell anemia in stem cells. But the technology was also used by a Chinese scientist to secretly and illegally edit the genomes of twin girls – the first-ever heritable mutation of the human germline made with genetic engineering.
“We’ve moved away from an era of science where we understood the risks that came with new technology and where decision stakes were fairly low,” says Dietram Scheufele, a professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. [Read more…] about Human genome editing requires difficult conversations between science and society