How far could gene editing go?

05.06.2022 - By CrowdScience

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Humans now have the ability to directly change their DNA, and gene-editing tool CRISPR has led to a new era in gene-editing. CrowdScience listener ‘Bones’ wants to know how gene-editing is currently being used and what might be possible in the future.

Gene-editing offers huge opportunities for the prevention and treatment of human diseases, and trials are currently underway in a wide range of diseases like sickle cell anaemia. CrowdScience presenter Caroline Steel finds out about some of the most promising work tackling disease before turning to consider the possibilities of using gene editing to enhance ourselves.

Will we be able to extend human longevity, swap our eye colour or improve athletic performance? And even if we can do all these things, should we?

As scientists push the boundaries of gene-editing and some people are DIY experimenting on themselves with CRISPR, we discuss the practical and ethical challenges facing this promising but potentially perilous area of science.

Produced by Melanie Brown and presented by Caroline Steel for the BBC World Service
Contributors:
Prof George Church
Prof Waseem Qasim
Jimi Olaghere
Josiah Zayner
Prof Joyce harper
Prof Julian Suvalescu

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