Last week, a scientist in China announced that he has created the world’s first CRISPR-edited human babies. In an announcement that shocked many, including scientists and ethicists, He Jiankui said he altered a gene in the embryos of twin girls in an effort to make them resistant to HIV.
Scientists, including preeminent CRISPR researchers at the IGI, have publicly shared their reaction to this surprising news. Read the response from Jennifer Doudna, IGI Executive Director, outlining what we can conclude from this announcement and the imperative to move forward with caution and consensus. IGI Investigator Mark Yarborough argued on STAT that scientists are not well trained to deal with the ethical repercussions of their work, and this situation must be rectified to prevent future incidents like this one.
Alex Marson, IGI’s Director of Biomedicine and a professor at UCSF, and Fyodor Urnov, a visiting researcher at the IGI, join the Center for Genetics and Society’s Marcy Darnovsky and host Michael Krasny on KQED’s Forum. They discuss the scientific and ethical decisions behind this latest news as well as possible future embryo editing, touch on how the news may impact the use of CRISPR moving forward, and answer thoughtful listener questions.
Listen to the full, 52-minute episode below:
Scientist’s Claim of Genetically-Edited Babies Renews Ethics Concerns
Forum with Michael Krasny | KQED | November 28, 2018