Michael Sandel on genetic enhancement

In the age of genome editing, the question of genetic enhancements takes on new urgency. The philosopher Michael Sandel published an influential critique, which this post reviews.


CRISPR/Cas9 now used in humans

Chinese researchers now used CRISPR/Cas9 in humans to treat a patient with lung cancer. This is the first time that CRISPR/Cas9 was used in humans. This procedure is surrounded by much talk about an "arms race" between Chinese and US researchers.

Running with scissors – Part I

New methods in genome editing have been described as ushering in "a new era in molecular biology". Even beyond the boundaries of genetics, genome modification has been called "transformative". It is likely to change social practices and alter the way society thinks. Given its paramount importance, it’s crucial to understand how genome modification works and what it can be used for. This post describes what CRISPR and genome editing is in a layperson's terms.

Disability in the media

In discussing genome editing, we often distinguish between therapy and "improvement." This does not seem to do justice to people with disabilities, however. An increasing number of people with disabilities say that they don't live up to society's standards of functioning, and they are tired of being reduced to such a perceived lack – part of living "in a world that isn’t built with us in mind", in the words of one commentator.

What is GENETHICS – and what is all this CRISPRing about?

CRISPR/CAS9 is "the new thing" in genetics. What sounds like gobbledygook is in fact a very powerful method to change the DNA within a live cell – in a bacterium, a plant, an animal, or even a human person... To make fine-tuned changes in the DNA could mean to tweak or re-design a living being. This blog is intended to contribute to the public debate about such issues, especially on the moral questions involved.