Genetic Engineering

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley (Biography)

Harris Auditorium
April 26, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.

Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to remove a potentially fatal heart condition. This means that, for the first time, humans are able to change their own genome. Technically, this development is an incredible scientific advancement. The tool used for genome editing is called CRISPR-Cas9. The potential medical benefits from genome editing are significant, but so are the ethical implications. Performing experiments on human embryos is already the subject of much debate. If genome editing becomes commonplace, couples could procure "designer babies," with all the physical traits they desire. Genome editing has also been done on animals, such as pigs, to make them organ donors for humans. Are we on the path of improved health and increased longevity? Or are we revisiting the Island of Doctor Moreau?