The Crispr Quandary

NYT Magazine, 9 November 2015
Author: Jennifer Kahn
“A new gene-editing tool might create an ethical morass — or it might make revising nature seem natural. Should embryo-editing eventually become a realistic possibility, it will still require a leap. But it also won’t be the first time that we have created such a tool. The trick will be in deciding when the potential benefits of such a modification — a child who can’t get H.I.V., say, or is less likely to develop Alzheimer’s — outweigh the possible downsides. Even as editing genes in human embryos remains a long way off, Doudna recognizes that it won’t always be. At the meeting in Napa, she said, ‘‘Someone at the table said, ‘There may come a time when, ethically, we can’t not do this.’?’’ She paused. ‘‘That kind of made everybody sit back and think about it differently.’’
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