In late 2018, a Chinese researcher revealed that he created the first ever genetically edited babies. He altered the DNA of twin girls before they were born. In response, the world kind of went nuts, raising a HUGE bio ethical question. When is gene editing OK? How far is too far when altering life itself?
TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and share their voices. https://learn.kqed.org/topics/26
What, exactly, are genes?
Genes are kind of like the instructions for life. All living things have them. They determine most of your physical traits, like the color of your eyes, whether your hair is curly or straight, the density of your bones, even how your heart responds to exercise.
What is CRISPR
CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. It’s one of the BIGGEST scientific breakthroughs in DECADES. It’s a gene editing tool that can target specific genes, allowing scientists to make precise edits much like a software engineer modifies code. It can cut out a gene. It can modify a gene. It can add in an entirely NEW gene.