Cutting Edges and Weaving Threads in the Gene Editing (Я)Evolution: Reconciling Scientific Progress with Legal, Ethical, & Social Concerns
Posted: 14 Sep 2017
Date Written: May 31, 2017
Gene-editing technology, such as CRISPR/Cas9, holds great promise for the advancement of science and technology. This foundational technology enables modification of the genetic structure of living organisms with unprecedented precision. Potential applications include both plant, animal and human genetic intervention. In plant biology, gene editing introduces more precise, target- and time-efficient tools to engineer plants for multipurpose uses such as crops, medicines or biofuel. In humans, gene-editing technology offers hope in the fight against severe genetic diseases and many other illnesses. In this paper an interdisciplinary group of European lawyers, biologists, philosophers, social scientists, and physicists analyses and discusses the most problematic legal, ethical and societal implications of gene editing. We demonstrate and argue that before society can harness this technology’s potential it is imperative to consider from a broader societal and value-based perspective not only the enormous benefits that gene editing may bring, but also its problematic aspects.
Keywords: Gene editing; Gene Drive; CRISPR/Cas9; Patents; Regulation; Interdisciplinary perspectives; Ethical and social concerns; law and technology; ELSI
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