SeveralÂ well-known authors, scientists and bioethicists are in downtown Atlanta’s Tabernacle for the #BEINGS2015 conference. Paul Wolpe and the Center for Ethics have been central to organizing the event, and several Emory biomedical and genetics researchers will be involved in shaping the consensus documents that will emerge.
I won’t attempt to summarize the ongoing discussion at this point; with biotechnology, it is difficult to draw a circle around certain topics and say “we’re going toÂ focus on this, but not this” and today was a good example. TheÂ border between existing agricultural biotechnology and new organisms seems hard to define.
Three interesting relevant links:
The National Academy of Sciences is launching an effort to guide decision making on human gene editing technologies such as Cas9/CRISPR
Collection of scientists’ comments on human gene editing and Cas9/CRISPR in Nature Biotechnology
Nature Chem Bio paper on engineered yeast that “paves way for home brew heroin”. Interesting role of FBI in overseeing this emerging area, and note that full production of opiates in yeast may look close, but is still not yet possible.