New Film Tells Origin Story of CRISPR Gene Editing

Jul 22, 2019

Credit Ernesto del Aguila III, NHGRI / Public Domain

CRISPR gene editing. It's gone from an obscure biotech term to a household name in the past few years, in no small part due to a scientist who last year announced that he'd not only modified the DNA of human embryos but that two baby girls had been born carrying the edits he'd made.

The CRISPR system is not the only way to edit DNA, but it is faster, easier, and less expensive than alternatives. It also has the potential to be far more precise.

And that has pushed longstanding debates about human genetic selection and modification into fast forward. On one hand there's the promise of curing debilitating genetic diseases. On the other hand there's the fear of designer babies and widespread eugenics.

A new documentary by the Wonder Collaborative, called Human Nature, explores how we got here and where we might be headed with gene editing technology.