- Barbara Evans’ scenario: Couple meets for a date. One says to other: BTW, I’ve had my genes edited. #FutureImplications
- Janet Rossant, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children: “It’s absolutely our responsibility” to engender public buy-in and trust.
- In France, UK, US, no plan to launch public debate on gene editing. “It might be a good idea.” (Jennifer Merchant)
- Listening & wondering: Is germ-line editing a distraction? The breakthroughs and greatest uses will come with somatic cells, which are much less ethically suspect.
- Yes! Molecular biologist Thomas Reiss makes a case for accessible language (and uses it himself). #HealthLiteracy
- “What is needed is a very authentic form of public engagement,” requiring that“science learns to communicate with public.” (Keymanthri Moodley, S. Africa)
- One concern in a “wild wild west” of gene editing: medical tourism.
- One concern if there’s a moratorium: “It will only limit the legitimate science” (Ephrat Levy-Lahad, Israel)
- International regulation would discourage medical tourism, but hard to respect social, cultural and moral/ethical differences among countries.
- An ethics question: Does principle of double effect have anything to say about the problem of off-target modifications?
- Public health disease burden in settings such as Sub Saharan Africa is high priority. Hepatitis B and HIV have treatments, not cures, possibly creating a moral imperative for somatic gene editing.
- Context: In a 6 billion character, 1.1-million page Book of Genome, a single typo causes the disease. (Matthew Porteus)
- @rocza points out, “a lot of the #GeneEditSummit debate is about values, not science. We need to NOT pretend otherwise.”
- Can regulation catch up with the science? Would that be a good thing?
- Barbara Evans again: “The science of regulation is more precarious than the science of gene editing,”
- Day’s last panel a true international summit: Nigeria, Germany, France, Israel, S. Africa, Sweden, India.
- How to silence a room full of scientists: “We like to pray.” (Fola Esan, Nigeria)
- Religion wasn’t mentioned until Day 2’s final panel (which then was cut short): “Nigerians are deeply religious people.” Nigeria also has high maternal & child mortality and high sickle cell. Again, moral imperative.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Getting a Handle on CRISPR/Cas9 (Part 2)
Takeaways from Day 2 of the International Summit on Human Gene Editing. The challenge: Not devoting all of them to legal scholar and doctor of irony Barbara Evans.
By Paul McLean at 6:08 PM