PUBLIC TALK: Life 2.0: CRISPR and the Age of Designer Babies
|Life 2.0: CRISPR and the Age of Designer Babies : Public Talk with Dr. Ellen Jorgensen
Science fiction has explored the consequences of human genetic engineering for decades, and the results are universally dystopic. With the advent of the genome editing technology called CRISPR, we are closer than ever before. CRISPR has been called 'the word processor for genomes', allowing us for the first time to precisely change DNA code in any organism. From its development in 2012 to its use today, we have already progressed to human clinical trials and the first human embryo experiments. What does this mean for our identity as humans? Should it be controlled, and if so, by whom? Are we already on a slippery slope? CRISPR also opens the door to species-wide genetic change, including annihilation through DNA perpetual motion machines called gene drives. Could social pressure to eliminate disease mean the end of the mosquito?
Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is co-founder and President of Biotech Without Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting citizen science and access to biotechnology. She is passionate about increasing science literacy in both student and adult populations, particularly in the areas of molecular and synthetic biology. She cofounded and directed the community lab Genspace in Brooklyn NY where she initiated Genspace’s award-winning curriculum of informal science education for adults and students in biotechnology and synthetic biology, which resulted in Genspace being named one of the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education by Fast Company magazine. Her efforts to develop innovative ways to support citizen participation in science have been chronicled by Nature Medicine, Science, Discover Magazine, Wired, Make, BBC News, Dan Rather Reports, PBS News Hour, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times. She has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from New York University, spent many years in the
biotechnology industry, and is currently adjunct faculty at The Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts. Dr. Jorgensen’s two TED talks (Biohacking: You Can Do It Too and What You Need To Know About CRISPR) have received over two million views. In 2017, Fast Company magazine named her one of their Most Creative Leaders in Business.
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