New powerful techniques for altering and synthesizing DNA can be used on all living organisms, including humans. And while these “gene editing” tools bring enticing possibilities; they also raise a host of social, policy, and ethical challenges. In a recent Bioscience Technology article, Editing Humans, Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society, discusses the implications of gene editing tools used in human reproduction.
Gene editing as a therapy could target the cells and tissues of people who are sick and perhaps even cure serious disease. Editing genes for human reproduction targets hypothetical future humans rather than existing patients. Therefore, gene editing for reproduction has very different goals, effects and social ramifications than gene therapy. Marcy will provide insight on this topic at the annual SXSW Conference and Festival, March 10-19, 2017. The session, Engineering Life – Artificial Genome Synthesis, is included in the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW. For more information please see http://techforhumanity.ieee.org.