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Tonight we hear from Ben and Nicole about how we can change our DNA. Nicole discusses the science behind the genetic revolution that is CRISPR, and how CRISPR-ing stem cells can help us to understand diabetes. Ben will open our eyes to the ethics of this technology - is changing our DNA moral?
The promise and perils of rewriting the human genome
By hacking an ancient bacterial immune system (CRISPR), biologists are now able to make genetic alterations to the human genome. This system for “gene editing” has had a huge effect on biomedical research where it will help researchers disentangle complex diseases such as cancer, and may lead to the creation of game-changing therapies. However, the potential for abuse - even with the best of intentions - is very real, as brought to light by recent reports of the first genetically engineered humans. Here we will discuss the science behind CRISPR and the ethical concerns this technology poses.