In 2012, scientists developed a method to edit any part of the human genome, and the implications were astounding. Now, we’re starting to see the technology’s potential; we will soon cure previously untreatable diseases, but at the same time, rogue scientists are experimenting in ways considered unethical by the wider medical community. So where does gene editing go from here?
In this week’s Science Focus Podcast, Nessa Carey, author of the book Hacking the Code Of Life: How gene editing will rewrite our futures (£12.99, Icon) explains how gene editing was developed, how it works, and why it holds so much promise for medical science. We talked to her about the potential ways this technology could be mishandled, and how we should go about making ethical decisions around when and for whom gene editing is used.
What does a future like where we can manipulate the human genome to any end? Should we be inspired, or terrified?
She speaks to BBC Science Focus editorial assistant Helen Glenny.
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Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast:
- Eating for your genes – Giles Yeo
- Can we slow down the ageing process? – Sue Armstrong
- What makes me ‘me’? – Aoife McLysaght
- The genetic hunt for the Loch Ness Monster – Neil Gemmell
- Everything that’s wrong with the human body – Nathan Lents
- Transhumanism: using technology to live forever – Mark O’Connell