Pre-thinking:

What is CRISPR and how can it affect your future world for better or for ill?

Who is she?:

Jennifer Kahn likes to seek out complex stories, with the goal of illuminating their nuances. She teaches in the magazine program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; she has written features and cover stories for The New Yorker, National Geographic, Outside, Wired and many more.

Why you should watch:

Only one reason – this is an important talk for the direction of the future of humanity!!!

Discussion questions:

There is only one question for this talk but it is a big one. Just because we can now edit gene sequences, should we do it?  Consider the legal and ethical implications.

Making connections:

Newly recommended books and movies

If you want to extend your knowledge of genetics, we recommend two books and a movie. First there is a recent best seller by Siddhartha Mukherjee: THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY.

Mukherjee views his subject from a clarifying height, yet also intimately. Framing his story are pieces of his own family history.  The specter of mental illness, presumably inherited or inheritable, haunts his family and his imagination. A very readable introduction to the history and status of genetic research.

The book, The Gene, is available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qmQSrd

For those who prefer fiction Amazon presents THE ATLANTIS GEN,E  a thought-provoking technothriller about global genetic experiments, and the mysteries of human evolution. Its complex characters and scientific details will stay with you long after you finish.

The Atlantis Gene is available at: http://amzn.to/2qmDW4v

Movie viewers may find GATTACA fascinating. The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. Characters in Gattaca continually battle to find their place in the world and who they are destined to be according to their genes.

Gattaca is available at: http://amzn.to/2roG5ki.

Here is a recent TED Talk presented by Jennifer Doudna, and a cautionary note from the inventor of CRISPR.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_doudna_we_can_now_edit_our_dna_but_let_s_do_it_wisely

and

http://ideas.ted.com/the-promising-and-perilous-science-of-gene-editing/

 

Gene Editing Can Now Change An Entire Species –Forever with Jennifer Kahn

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