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The whether of heritable human genome editing has not been resolved, and yet some scientists continue to race ahead with the how of it, essentially ignoring the myriad calls for public consultation. I don’t agree with this position. As I write in a new book, “Altered Inheritance,” we need to move the dial from public education to public engagement.

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The only type of couple that would be unable to have a healthy, at least partially related, child through existing means is one in which both individuals carry two abnormal genes for the same dominant condition. Given the rarity of such a scenario, the unique benefit of germline editing is extremely limited in its application—a fact that must be emphasized in the discussions surrounding germline editing.

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Building on the flawed logic that providing support to the poor incentivizes poverty and encourages low-income people to reproduce to take advantage of social support, Trump touts the curtailment of SNAP as a backward way of combating poverty itself.

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In the 20th century, the U.S. and Canada carried out a quiet genocide against Indigenous women through coerced sterilization. In 2019, it’s still happening.
needle extracting a fertilized egg from a petrie dish

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gloved hand holding a forensic DNA result

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gloved hand holding a vial of stem cells with tweezers

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Window poster for SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program)

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gold and blue state seal of California

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text logo for CIRM, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

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