In August 2017, it was reported that scientists had successfully edited genes in human embryos. The scientists used a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to repair a gene that causes a hereditary disease in humans. CRISPR is groundbreaking technology that can be applied to a variety of uses, including prevention and treatment of disability and disease, and altering human embryos and reproductive cells (sperm and egg) to introduce characteristics that enhance or improve human traits and abilities. Other techniques allow scientists to manipulate human cells to create human embryos for research purposes. Some question whether such research and clinical applications justify messing with the human genome. Should such science be allowed and where do we draw the line between justifiable and unjustifiable uses? This Philosopher’s Café event will answer all your questions regarding human embryo research and the application of gene editing to humans. The Café experts will discuss the science and associated moral, ethical, legal and societal implications.
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