Assignment: Human Gene Editing

Assignment: Human Gene Editing

Assignment: Human Gene Editing

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For your primary post, please respond to one of the following three topics with a post of at least 125 words that addresses each point given in the instructions. Also, please reply to at least one fellow student on any topic.

Topic 1

: Jennifer Doudna on CRISPR. View the NBC News story about CRISPR (1)*, including an interview with its co-discoverer, Jennifer Doudna. Then, address the following issues:

  • (a) What applications of CRISPR look particularly promising for improving human well-being?
  • (b)  What sort of ethical issues have arisen or are likely to arise with the deployment of CRISPR?

Topic 2 [Reading]: Societal Aspects of Human Gene Editing. Read the article by Neuhaus (2)* and/or the article by Ossola (3)*, then address the following:

  • (a) Where do you think our procedures, regulations, and laws ought to come down regarding human genome editing, with CRISPR (or any other tool)? Take a clear position on this.
  • (b) Explain your rationale.

Topic 3 [Reading]: Esvelt’s Regret. In the article by Zimmer (4)*, Kevin Esvelt says that he made a huge mistake by championing the application of a technology that he now says is far too dangerous to actually deploy. Based on the article, address the following:

  • (a) What is the technology that he championed? What does it consist of and why does he think it’s too risky to use outside the lab?
  • (b) In your opinion, what sorts of laws and regulations, if any, should society put into place to regulate the technology that Esvelt regrets championing?

*References (in Strayer Writing Standards format).

  1. NBC News, June 11, 2017. Life changer, https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/life-changer-965215299885
  2. Carolyn P. Neuhaus, March 16, 2017. Genome editing: bioethics shows the way. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2001934
  3. Alexandra Ossola, August 6, 2015. Should bioethicists “get out of the way” of CRISPR research?, https://www.popsci.com/should-bioethicists-get-out-way-crispr-research
  4. Carl Zimmer, November 16, 2017.  ‘Gene drives’ are too risky for field trials, scientists say, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/science/gene-drives-crispr.html?_r=0
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