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When does gene editing go too far?

DelawareBio is tackling the ethics of CRISPR at this June 8 event.

When is this OK? (Photo by Flickr user socialmediasl444, used under a Creative Commons license)

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), the gene-editing tool that can literally splice and repair human DNA, is already being used in clinical research trials, and has recently been introduced as part of the Delaware Tech bioscience curriculum, thanks to its partnership with ChristianaCare.

How does it work? This short video from NOVA PBS explains:

The possibilities for this kind of tech is exciting, to say the least. Gene editing could be used in the treatment of cancer, HIV and muscular dystrophy, it could “edit” malaria out of mosquitoes, and could be used to create stronger, more disease-resistant crops. It could potentially also be used in more controversial applications, such as making mini animals for pets and “designer babies,” and any application that changes the genetic makeup of the subject, begging the question: When and where is the use of CRISPR ethical?

DelawareBio is tackling this heady subject at the Christiana Hospital Campus on Friday, June 8 from 8:30–11:00 a.m. with “CRISPR Gene Editing 360: From Laboratory Science to Ethical Application.”

Featured speakers include:

  • Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., Director of Gene Editing Institute at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
  • Debra J. H. Mathews Ph.D., MA, Assistant Director for Science Programs at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Associate Professor for the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Bob Oakes Esq., Principal, Delaware Office of Fish & Richardson
  • Edmund Pezalla, M.D., MPH, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Enlightenment Bioconsult
  • Moderator: Mark Greene, Ph.D., Research Director at the Center for Science, Ethics & Public Policy, University of Delaware

Tickets are $25.

Register

And if you want to know more about the gene editing curriculum at Del Tech, check out this video:

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