Thirty-two million Americans currently have health conditions linked to genetic defects, nearly all of which can be corrected by genetic editing with CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Opponents of gene editing abound, from those who point to their potential role in increasing the privilege gap between the rich and poor, to people who object morally to the idea of humans meddling with their own DNA, to pharmaceutical companies whose profits would be threatened by a reduced need for medication. However, after analysis of the ethicality of genetic editing technology with the frameworks of common good, utilitarianism, and fairness, it is evident that the eventual species-scale benefits that will be brought about by the technology outweigh its risks and flaws.View More Curing the Human Condition: The Ethics of Editing Our Own DNA
Biohacking is a Do-It-Yourself movement that encourages experimenting with biotechnology tools to find ways to improve one’s health and enhance one’s natural capabilities, and many in the movement advocate for the democratization of scientific tools so that everyone can participate in such scientific discovery. However, some biohackers take their experimentation to the extreme, and not all of them seem to understand the responsibility and risks associated with the scientific methods they employ. As a result, tension between the biohacking community and the professional science community has grown as biohacking continues to increase in popularity. Though the biohacking movement makes salient points about the way ethical precautions and regulation slow innovation, this paper explores the need for codes of ethics governing the pursuit of scientific discovery and how biohackers and traditional, trained scientists can reach common ground.View More Biohacking: The Ethical Implications of Democratizing Biotechnology
In a revolutionary feat of science, medicine, and engineering, surgeons at NYU have successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human. However, as biotech companies rush to develop suitable animal organs for transplants, we must address the ethical concerns behind xenotransplantation.View More Surgeons Perform First Successful Pig-to-Human Transplant Using a Genetically-Engineered Animal
A company is proposing a Jurassic Park-esque project — to use CRISPR technology to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth in hopes the animals can restore the grasslands of the Arctic and maybe even reduce climate change.View More A Mammoth Feat: Colossal Biosciences Plan to Bring Back an Extinct Species
3/1/2019 Profiled article A. Regalado, “China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced”, Feb. 21, 2019. [Online] MIT Technology Review. Available at: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612997/the-crispr-twins-had-their-brains-altered/ [Accessed 24…View More Problems with CRISPR: Unintended Brain Enhancement on China’s Gene-edited Twins
2/8/2019 Profiled article W. Johnson, A. Maynard, and S. Kirshenbaum. “Burgers grown in a lab are heading to your plate. Will you bite?” The Washington…View More Clean Meat or Lab Meat
It has been estimated that 50 million to 100 million people are infected by dengue fever each year, a number that is larger than the…View More Fighting the Feverish Flyers
Introduction In the United States, meat consumption has more than doubled in the last 50 years, from 15.8 million tons total in 1960 to 34.0…View More Genetic Engineering in Farmed Animals: Solving or Prolonging Cruelty in Animal Agriculture?