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Effect on future generations

This interview with Professor Ruth Macklin, covers the ethics of gene editing.

One of the worries around genome editing is that it is not just the individual being treated who is affected, but potentially all the children that person may have.

On the positive side, this means that a heritable mutation can be cured once and for all, which would be very useful.

For example, if a person has a cancer-causing gene mutation BRCA, and their faulty copy of the gene were corrected, this would mean that not only that person would be free from the mutant gene, but any children would be free of it as well.

However, this also means that an error caused by genome editing can have lasting and potentially devastating consequences. This is why both scientists and ethicists worry about genome editing, as Ruth Macklin explains.

For your discussion: What do you think about about the risk for future generations when it comes to gene editing? Who is to decide what constitutes a safe technology?

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Making Babies in the 21st Century

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