Our DNA can determine attributes from eye color to medical predispositions. An extraordinary technology called CRISPR allows us to edit human DNA, possibly eliminating genetic diseases or choosing our children's features. But how far should we go?
A string of discoveries beginning?in?the 1990s has led scientists to a revolutionary tool known as CRISPR. It comes from the immune-like response of bacteria that can chop up the DNA of invading viruses and incorporate it into their own, creating a ""memory"" of the invader in case it attacks again. This simple but powerful gene-editing tool has now been harnessed by humans to edit DNA--including our own. The ability to make targeted edits to the genome could mean a cure for genetic disorders like sickle cell disease. It could also lead to editing of human embryos for specific traits. But how far should we go? Is it wrong to engineer soldiers to feel no pain, or to resurrect an extinct species? Is there harm in allowing parents to choose their children's features, like eye color or height? And is something lost, even in editing out ""harmful"" things like disease? The scientists who pioneered human genome studies and CRISPR grapple with the ethics of editing the very code that makes us human."
Production Year: 2020