August 6, 2017

Editorial: CRISPR and the future

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How far are we willing to let science take us away from the whims of nature?

In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists cracked the genetic code — a breakthrough that still inspires awe and wonder for revealing the essential, powerful machinery of life.

Now science has given us something new to think about: How sacrosanct is that code? Is it OK to manipulate the unique DNA each of us carry?

Last week, a paper in Nature showed just how far scientists have opened the doors on DNA over the last decades, edging from appreciative observers to cautious participants. A global research effort lead by a team at Oregon Health & Science University used a fairly recent technology called CRISPR to edit a defective gene inside viable human embryos.

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