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Sunday, May 28, 2017

CRISPR Makes it Clear: US Needs a Biology Strategy, FAST

Amy Webb
Originally published

Here is an excerpt:

Crispr can be used to engineer agricultural products like wheat, rice, and animals to withstand the effects of climate change. Seeds can be engineered to produce far greater yields in tiny spaces, while animals can be edited to create triple their usual muscle mass. This could dramatically change global agricultural trade and cause widespread geopolitical destabilization. Or, with advance planning, this technology could help the US forge new alliances.

How comfortable do you feel knowing that there is no group coordinating a national biology strategy in the US, and that a single for-profit company holds a critical mass of intellectual property rights to the future of genomic editing?

While I admire Zheng’s undeniable smarts and creativity, for-profit companies don’t have a mandate to balance the tension between commercial interests and what’s good for humanity; there is no mechanism to ensure that they’ll put our longer-term best interests first.

The article is here.