Dec 27, 2015

Should We Create Superhumans? Q&A with Author James Rollins

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, genetics

Rollins, who has a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine, took some time to talk about genetic engineering, the future of humanity and the ethical limits of science.

(This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.)

Live Science: A quote from “The Bone Labyrinth” reads, “Research today has become more about seeing if something can be done versus judging if it should. It’s knowledge for the sake of knowledge, regardless of the impact on the world.” Is that you speaking? Is that what you personally believe?

James Rollins: Yes, I believe that. I think sometimes, the reach of science is faster than its capacity to grasp. Genetic engineering is changing the world so fast right now. The CRISPR-Cas9 technique can allow us to pluck a single DNA unit out and replace it with great precision. And one of the people I interviewed in the research for this book told me that we now have the ability to do germline editing, where anyone with a basic biology degree and familiarity with embryos can alter an embryo pretty easily. And that’s something that’s relatively new. It’s just in the last five to 10 years that that’s been developed.

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