Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stanford's Final Exams Pose Question About the ethics of Genetic Engineering; Futurism, July 9, 2017

Tom Ward, Futurism; Stanford's Final Exams Pose Question About the ethics of Genetic Engineering

"When bioengineering students sit down to take their final exams for Stanford University, they are faced with a moral dilemma, as well as a series of grueling technical questions that are designed to sort the intellectual wheat from the less competent chaff:
If you and your future partner are planning to have kids, would you start saving money for college tuition, or for printing the genome of your offspring?
The question is a follow up to “At what point will the cost of printing DNA to create a human equal the cost of teaching a student in Stanford?” Both questions refer to the very real possibility that it may soon be in the realm of affordability to print off whatever stretch of DNA you so desire, using genetic sequencing and a machine capable of synthesizing the four building blocks of DNA — A, C, G, and T — into whatever order you desire...
It is vital to discuss the ethics of gene editing in order to ensure that the technology is not abused in the future. Stanford’s question is praiseworthy because it makes today’s students, who will most likely be spearheading the technology’s developments, think about the consequences of their work."

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