Scientists can now harness the unparalleled power of gene editing to change the genome of any organism on earth, including ourselves. This has the potential to tackle devastating genetic diseases with no other treatment options, removing them from affected families for all future generations.
So why is society so uncomfortable with this? Why does the thought of changing maybe just one letter of the 3 billion in our genetic alphabet, in the genes of a tiny fraction of the human population, worry us so much? Maybe it’s time to challenge our oddly possessive feelings about our DNA and accept that with gene editing the ethical game has changed forever. Follow Nessa on @NessaCarey Nessa Carey is an expert in genetics. She’s written Hacking the Code of Life, Junk DNA and The Epigenetics Revolution. She’s formerly a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at Imperial College and currently serves there as Visiting Professor. Nessa holds has a virology PhD from Edinburgh University, a degree in immunology and did post-doc research in human genetics.
In addition to her academic and writing experience, Nessa spent 13 years in industry working in drug discovery with senior science roles at startup companies all the way up to behemoths such as Pfizer. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.