CRISPR: Can we control it? | Jennifer Doudna, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, & more | Big Think


CRISPR: Can we govern it?
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CRISPR( Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) is a revolutionary technology that throws scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one entrust, this tool could intend the elimination of certain cancers. On the other, there are concerns( both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation.

“The proficiency could be misused in deplorable styles, ” says counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke. Clarke directories biological artilleries as one of the potential threats, “Threats for which we don’t have any known antidote.” CRISPR co-inventor, biochemist Jennifer Doudna, echos issues of concern, narrating a nightmare involving the technology, eugenics, and a meeting with Adolf Hitler.

Should humanity even have access to this type of tool? Do the positives outweigh the potential dangers? How could something like this ever regulate all aspects, and should it be? These the issues and more are considered by Doudna, Clarke, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, psychologist Steven Pinker, and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee.
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TRANSCRIPT:

0:41 Jennifer Doudna characterizes CRISPR
3:47 CRISPR’s risks
4:52 Artificial pick vs. artificial mutation
6:25 Why Steven Pinker guesses humanity will play it safe
9:20 Lessons from history
10:58 How CRISPR can help
11:22 Jennifer Doudna’s chimeric-Hitler dream

– Our they are able to manipulate genes can be very powerful. It has been very powerful.

– This is going to revolutionize human life.

– Would the consequences be bad? And they might be.

– Every period you monkey with the genome you are taking a chance that something will go wrong.

– The skill could be misused in ghastly ways.

– When I started the proposed project, I’ve kind of had this initial feeling of what have I done.

JENNIFER DOUDNA: CRISPR gene-editing technology is a tool that scientists can use to change the letters of DNA in cadres in precise highways. So I like to use the analogy of a word processor on a computer. So we have a document, you can think about the DNA in a cell, like the text of a document that has the instructions to tell the cell how to grow and segment and become a brain cell or a liver cell, or be transformed into an entire creature. And just like in a document, the CRISPR technology contributes scientists a acces to be done in order to and revise the letters of DNA. Just like we were able to cut and paste textbook in our report or supplant entirety decisions, even whole sections or assemblies. We can now do that using the CRISPR technology in the DNA of cells. CRISPR is an acronym that actually represents a sequence of DNA letters in the genomes of cadres. It’s found in bacteria and it was interesting to scientists initially because it’s a bacterial immune organization, a style that bacteria can oppose viral infection. For scientists this is sort of truly a knack that allows study to proceed very quickly in terms of understanding the genetics of cadres and beasts but also provides a very practical way to solve problems. In clinical prescription, the opportunity to make changes to blood cells that would cure illness like sickle cell anemia, a disease where we’ve understood the genetic cause for a long time. But until now there hasn’t been a way to actually think about treating cases. And now with this technology, it’s possible in principle to remove stem cells that give rise to blood cells in a person’s body, spawn edits to those cadres that would chasten the mutation beginning a sickle cell disease and then replace those cadres to virtually throw individual patients a brand-new situate of cadres that don’t have the shortcoming. It’s one thing to talk about being able to remove mutations from the human population that cause genetic disease. And I conceive for many people that would be a preferable thing to do. On the other hand, I think it’s a very different discussion to think about applying a technology like this to create augmented human being. People that are taller or have a certain eye color or other kinds of physical or academic features that might be considered beneficial. And it kind of immediately raises up sort of the the entire area of eugenics and sort of access to technology. Who gets access, who pays for it, who decides, who decides whether or not to do such a thing, should fellowships be allowed to offer this as a service to mothers who want to do this and if so, should they be regulated in some way? There’s a lot of very interesting and challenging questions, I think that go along with that.

RICHARD CLARKE: The skill could be misused in atrocious methods. It could be…

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