Are we ready for heritable genome editing to change our lives? | Tony Perry

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Ever since the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, the science behing human genome editing is constantly evolving. Researchers are now able to repair the genome of individuals but the next step forward is to make these repairs heritable and eradicate hereditary diseases. Yet, as sequencing the human genome becomes more affordable and changing it becomes feasible, the moral implications are beginning to emerge. Should this technology be used for reasons other than medical necessity, e.g. to give us wings and make us commute faster? Dr Tony Perry takes us on a fascinating journey in the world of genetics and proves that the future is happening as we speak.

Dr Tony Perry is Head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Molecular Embryology at the University of Bath, UK. At the center of his research is the remarkable and mysterious process by which fertilization transforms a sperm and egg into a single embryo cell that can give rise to an entire individual – we know very little about how this occurs. One way to discover more is to push the system to its limits, and Tony has authored first reports of mouse and pig nuclear transfer cloning. Tony has developed methods to introduce external genetic information (transgenesis) or changing the information already present (genome editing). His presentation outlines how this might play out in human applications.