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Genes influence health and disease, traits and behavior. With new tools available to edit those genes, scientists are now working towards things that once seemed impossible: creating immunity to viruses, eliminating genetic diseases—even resurrecting the woolly mammoth.
But when it comes to humans, scientists must contend with a question that will shape their work in the decades to come: Is it ethical to genetically engineer people?
The article goes on to state the following:
Leading geneticist George Church spends a lot of time thinking about the answer.
A professor at Harvard Medical School, Church helped pioneer human genome sequencing and DNA editing. His lab is now using genetic engineering to solve problems of viruses, diseases—and yes, extinct mammoths. 60 Minutes first met him this spring through his attempt to bring back the mammoth in a report on Arctic permafrost thawing too quickly. Church’s colleagues are extracting DNA from mammoth bones and editing it into elephant DNA in an attempt to create an animal very similar to the ones that used to roam Siberia.
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