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Engineering Human Genomes & Environments with Dr. George M. Church

Dr. George M. Church is a professor in genetics at Harvard Medical School, Health Sciences & Technology, Harvard-MIT. Credit: Fora-tv and Carnegie Science Center

This FORA.tv lecture by Dr. George M. Church is on two ever more relevant topics, genetic engineering of humans and what gene drive could imply for the environment and our future. CRISPR and its great potential is also accompanied with potentially catastrophic adverse effects.

The CRISPR gene editing tools can be used to create a gene drive that enables scientists to promote the inheritance of desired traits over undesirable ones. This opens up the possibility of using this technology to address urgent humanitarian problems, including the spread of insect-borne diseases like malaria, Lyme disease, and Zika. But the potential risks mean that it is crucial that officials develop and enforce safety protocols for employing this technology.