Trust Them?
Drawing Ethical Lines in an Approaching CRISPR Technology Whirlwind

by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, PhD.


Should we trust scientists and governments to set ethical boundaries for research and therapeutic use of CRISPR gene editing technology?  This provocative question was posed in a recent Chicago Tribune editorial (1). The potential of CRISPR is clearly immense, but the total scope of its implications cannot be delineated because much lies beyond what even the scientists themselves can presently imagine.

When Kary Mullis invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for copying DNA (2), it was obvious the technique was extremely valuable.  Yet how many of his colleagues sensed this breakthrough would precipitate a crisis of confidence in our criminal justice system?  Others soon seized on the new technology and applied it novel ways.  The Innocence Project (3) utilized the capabilities of the new PCR-based DNA analysis technology to examine forensic evidence…

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