The US public approves of gene-tailored babies but fears that the wealthy will use the technology first, leading to inequality.
The survey: The Pew Research Center asked 2,537 US adults how they felt about changing the genetic characteristics of babies using gene-editing tools.
Wide public support: Surprise. Seven out of 10 people said they think changing a baby’s genes is an appropriate use of technology, but only if it’s to treat or avoid a serious disease.
But only for healthy tots: When asked, only 20 percent thought making “more intelligent” humans would be acceptable. Most believed that using gene editing to increase intelligence would be taking things “too far.”
Top fear: Americans may be generally okay with genetically modified babies, but they still think negative results are more likely than positive ones. Survey respondents ranked inequality as their top worry. More than half think it’s “very likely” that gene-edited babies will only be available to the wealthy.
These scientists used CRISPR to put an alligator gene into catfish
The resulting fish appear to be more resistant to disease and could improve commercial production—should they ever be approved.
Next up for CRISPR: Gene editing for the masses?
Last year, Verve Therapeutics started the first human trial of a CRISPR treatment that could benefit most people—a signal that gene editing may be ready to go mainstream.
CRISPR for high cholesterol: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
New forms of the gene-editing tool could enable treatments for common diseases.
An ALS patient set a record for communicating via a brain implant: 62 words per minute
Brain interfaces could let paralyzed people speak at almost normal speeds.
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