An upcoming convention aims to explore and promote gene editing but a medical professional is warning about tinkering with the technology.
CRISPRcon Midwest is coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 8, which is promising a “thought-provoking” lineup of panel discussions and more for scientists and researchers.
“Join us to explore critical questions,” states a press release, “about patents and ownership; genomic difference and health disparities; agriculture and sustainability; the role of scientists in public debate; and more."
CRISPR is the acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which refers to DNA sequences that are now being targeted for gene editing to remove diseases and disorders, which is inevitably raising ethical questions among the scientific community.
One person who will not attend the conference is Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom.
“This all can sound good if you're thinking about how to get rid of those kinds of conditions," says Brase. "However, we really don't know what will happen in the long run with that kind of manipulation of the genetic structure of the genetic code."
Both sides of the ethical debate, she tells OneNewsNow, appear to agree that gene editing is a really big issue.
Organizers of the upcoming event seem to agree: "CRISPcon Midwest is the first regional event this fall to bring diverse voices together to discuss societal considerations for the future of CRISPR and other gene editing technologies," states the CRISPRcon press release.
"Nobody knows what would potentially happen in the future,” Brase warns, “if you start manipulating and changing the entire genetic structure of the human being.”