Forum: January 19, 2017
Topic: Gene editing and the future of CRISPR
CRISPR-Cas9 is a technique that allows scientists to isolate the segment of genes they want to alter, then uses the Cas9 protein as a kind of “cutting tool” or scalpel to remove the section we want. The technique then inserts the desired gene sequence. It has been somewhat whimsically called a kind of “find-and-replace” for genes. CRISPR will have effects on everything from the treatment of diseases to the manufacture of drought resistant crops. Some researchers — and many ethicists — are also warning that gene editing tools have the potential to create evolutionary-scale changes to entire species.
Check out these resources for background for the discussion:
An exciting agenda is emerging for our meetings this year.