In the Media: Professor Edwalds-Gilbert and Professor Weinberg Discuss Genetic Modification in Humans

Assistant Professor of Biology Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert and Professor of Philosophy Rivka Weinberg were quoted extensively in an article by Live Science about genetic engineering. According to Edwalds-Gilbert, the gene-modifying technology, CRISPR, offers avenues for finding cures for cancer and for locating and modifying the DNA that may lead to future disease in an individual. Stem cell therapy, through which damaged tissue is regenerated, could also make use of the technology, she adds.

Weinberg weighed in on the ethical components of genetic modification in humans. “Experimentation on human subjects without their consent is inherently problematic,” Weinberg said regarding the genetic engineering of a fetus. “The big problem with all of these experimental technologies is that they are experimental . . . One of the main reasons why people were so horrified by the Chinese scientist who used CRISPR technology on embryos is because it is such an early stage of experimentation. It is not genetic engineering. You are just experimenting on them.”