Cyreenik Says

December 2019 issues

Human gene editing: a technology swirling with lots of strong opinions

Human gene editing: it's hard to imagine a technology that can bring stronger opinions to the fore. Gene editing is a technology that is getting dramatically easier to accomplish. As that happens those who are ambitious to have the best for themselves and their prodigy are getting more and more interested in using it. This deciding who gets to use the technology, and who is excluded, promises to be a chronic issue for the 2020's. It will be much smaller in scale than illegal drug use, and have very different participants, but it will have similar patterns in its social evolution.

This 30 Dec 19 WSJ article, Chinese Scientist Who Gene-Edited Babies Is Sent to Prison by Philip Wen in Beijing and Amy Dockser Marcus, talks about the current state of opinions expressed by many experts in the US and China.

From the article, "China was able to race ahead of the U.S. on testing gene-editing technology because it had few regulatory hurdles to human trials, while the U.S. has stringent rules.

But Dr. He’s revelation drew immediate condemnation from bioethicists and fellow scientists in China and beyond, including the inventors of the gene-editing technology."

Big events, few surprises

December has seen lots of exciting business-related events, but few surprises. The big events include the British election, the impeachment of President Trump and the calming of the Chinese-American trade relations. These are all important and they will be making big differences in the course of business in 2020, but they aren't surprises. They have all been well anticipated. What is not clear, and what 2020 will show us, is the consequences of these events. How they will unfold is still full of uncertainty -- and the unfolding that will be happening in 2020 is where the surprises will be.

2020 is going to be as interesting a year to experience as 2019 has been.



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