SummitGeneEdit

What’s the Answer? (Dare we edit the human race?) #GeneEditSummit

SummitGeneEditThis week’s question is a biggie. And there’s no answer yet. But that is the topic of the National Academies big event this week, International Summit on Human Gene Editing. I have been glued to this for the whole time and didn’t spend much time looking for questions this week. And I’ll be watching the final day today. You can find the agenda and livestream at that link now, and the recordings will be available later.

A very good summary of the meeting so far came from STAT News today, and that’s where I got the title. So the closest thing you’ll get to an answer right now is that. And you will see that mostly there are just more questions at this point. Hat tip to Tim Caufield.

In that STAT piece, you will also see the reference to Sarah Gray’s powerful moment. It’s less than a minute, but it had me weeping at my desk. I had already heard Sarah and her son’s story on Radiolab. Hat tip to Michelle Meyer for that connection after Sarah’s comment:

In case you missed it, it’s hard to link to exactly where it is in the videos. It doesn’t have a way to get you to a spot like Youtube. So I’ve taken the clip out here. You can link to the full video collection at the National Academies site here. Go to Day 1, Part 3, 2:01:30 for the part with her comment for the best version. I just offer this short screengrab clip because I think that reading her comment doesn’t have the same impact and you should see it. Take a minute.

In case you can’t watch the video, the quote from STAT:

She implored the meeting, “If you have the skills and the knowledge to eliminate these diseases, then frickin’ do it!”

I have nothing to add to that, except to say I stand with Sarah.

Quick links:

Summit site: http://www.nationalacademies.org/gene-editing/Gene-Edit-Summit/index.htm

Agenda document:  http://www.nationalacademies.org/cs/groups/genesite/documents/webpage/gene_168809.pdf

Reference on the summit:
Reardon, S. (2015). Human-genome editing summit to sample global attitudes Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature.2015.18879