A promising new medical technique known as gene editing—deleting, inserting, or replacing genes in human cells—has the potential to cure many genetic diseases. But ethicist Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society is concerned about the safety of the technology, the ethical questions it raises, the unintended consequences that may be passed on to future generations, and the possibility of wealthy parents genetically enhancing their children regardless of medical necessity. More
The practice of “familial searching” is causing a conflict between solving crimes and protecting privacy. Police can now take DNA from a crime scene and compare it to millions of DNA samples in a government database. If there is even a partial match, that could lead to the criminal by way of his or her family members if their DNA is in the database. More
Read an excerpt from Dr. Francis Collins' THE LANGUAGE OF GOD: A SCIENTIST PRESENTS EVIDENCE FOR BELIEF.
The debate between some scientists and some religionists over creation, evolution and, among other issues, stem cell research continues. Dr. Francis Collins, who led the massive effort to discover the human genetic code, sees no conflict between the fields. From the National Institutes of Health, Collins led an international team that deciphered most of the human genetic code by the year 2000.
Researches are hopeful that mapping the human genome will lead to a revolution in biomedicine, but scientists and ethicists worry about the moral questions the new knowledge could raise.
- TRANSCRIPT: Bob Abernethy’s interview with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health
Read the full transcript of Bob Abernathy's e-mail with Dr. Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project at the National Institute of Health.