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The Promise and Peril of CRISPR

edited by Neal Baer

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A timely collection of essays on the pressing possibilities and risks of gene-editing technology.

Scientists and genetic engineers are becoming increasingly adept at editing the human genome. How far can—and should—they go in editing future generations? In The Promise and Peril of CRISPR, editor Neal Baer brings together a timely collection of essays by influential bioethicists, philosophers, and geneticists to explore the moral, ethical, and policy challenges posed by CRISPR technology.

We are at a technological and ethical crossroads in grappling with the impacts of genetic editing. Gene...

A timely collection of essays on the pressing possibilities and risks of gene-editing technology.

Scientists and genetic engineers are becoming increasingly adept at editing the human genome. How far can—and should—they go in editing future generations? In The Promise and Peril of CRISPR, editor Neal Baer brings together a timely collection of essays by influential bioethicists, philosophers, and geneticists to explore the moral, ethical, and policy challenges posed by CRISPR technology.

We are at a technological and ethical crossroads in grappling with the impacts of genetic editing. Gene-editing technology holds the promise of curing more than 7,000 known genetic diseases. Yet with that promise comes the peril of using CRISPR to edit the human genome, which could not only lead to manipulating human evolution, but also to creating and releasing pathogens capable of wreaking havoc on human, animal, and plant life. Although CRISPR has already cured several genetic diseases, it could also be used to design biological weapons or to edit the embryos of people who can afford to purchase genetic "enhancements" for their children.

What role can and should the public play in discussing the far-reaching implications of gene editing? What oversights should be put in place to prevent a rogue scientist from engineering another baby – as was recently done with twins in China?

Essay contributors offer informed predictions and guidelines for how the uses of CRISPR today will affect life in the future. Decisions we make now may have unpredictable consequences for future generations. For anyone concerned about the uses and potential abuses of gene editing, these essays provide a critical and comprehensive discussion of the central issues surrounding CRISPR technology.

Contributors: Florence Ashley, R. Alta Charo, Marcy Darnovsky, Kevin Doxzen, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Jodi Halpern, Katie Hasson, Andrew C. Heinrich, Jacqueline Humphries, J. Benjamin Hurlbut, Ellen D. Jorgensen, Peter F. R. Mills, Carol Padden, Marcus Schultz-Bergin, Robert Sparrow, Sandra Sufian, Krystal Tsosie, Ethan Weiss, Rachel M. West

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Book Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Code Dread?
Part One: Overview—The Era of CRISPR
1. CRISPR: Challenges Posed by a Dual-Use Technology
Part Two: Ethical Questions Raised by CRISPR Technology
2. Untangling CRISPR's Twisted

Introduction: Code Dread?
Part One: Overview—The Era of CRISPR
1. CRISPR: Challenges Posed by a Dual-Use Technology
Part Two: Ethical Questions Raised by CRISPR Technology
2. Untangling CRISPR's Twisted Tales
3. Heritable Genome Editing and International Human Rights
4. Democratizing CRISPR: Opening the Door or Pandora's Box?
5. Welcome to the CRISPR Zoo
Part Three: Personal Perspectives
6. Who Goes First?
7. Billie Idol
8. Curing Cystic Fibrosis?
Part Four: Diverse Voices
9. CRISPR and Gene Editing: Why Indigenous Peoples and Why Now
10. Do Trans/Humanists Dream of Electric Tits?: CRISPR and Transgender Bioethics
Part Five: The Dilemma of Controlling the Future
11. Velvet Eugenics: In the Best Interests of Our Future Children?
12. A Therapeutic Fallacy
13. Genome Editing, in Time
Part Six: Oversight and Monitoring
14. Regulating CRISPR: A Quest to Foster Safe, Ethical, and Equitable Innovation
15. Should We Fear Heritable Genome Editing?
16. Advancing Progressively Backwards: Guiding and Governing Heritable Genome Editing
List of Contributors
Index

Author Bio
Neal Baer
Featured Contributor

Neal Baer

Neal Baer is an award-winning showrunner, television writer and producer, physician, and author. He is a lecturer on global health and social medicine and the co-director of the master’s degree program in Media, Medicine, and Health at Harvard Medical School. He was an executive producer and showrunner for Designated Survivor, Baking Impossible, Under the Dome, and Law & Order: Special Victims...