NYSCF Hosts Launch of Jamie Metzl’s New Book: “Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity”
“After 3.8 billion years of evolving by Darwinian principles, we are turning a corner and taking more control over all biology, including our own,” explained Jamie Metzl, PhD, JD. “We are at the beginning of the age of precision gene editing, and we are learning to write the code of life.”
This week, NYSCF hosted the launch of Dr. Metzl’s book, Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, at its headquarters and laboratories in New York. Hacking Darwin dives into the capabilities of gene editing, where Dr. Metzl believes this technology is heading, and how we as a society should ensure it is used responsibly. At the event, Dr. Metzl, NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon, JD, and NYSCF Senior Vice President of Research Scott Noggle, PhD, engaged in a discussion on the promise of genetic engineering and the bioethical issues it presents.
Gene editing allows us to precisely manipulate the DNA of human cells — a useful tool for understanding and treating diseases, many of which carry genetic components that contribute to their onset or progression. However, we are still refining this technology and must decide the appropriate circumstances for its use as it becomes more advanced and takes on new capabilities.
“It’s important that we have conversations about these technologies so we can determine the best way to move forward,” remarked Dr. Noggle.
These conversations must include more than just scientists. Discussion should be open to every member of the public, as these issues will have widespread impact. According to Ms. Solomon, a big part of this process will be disseminating information about new technologies in a way that is accurate and comprehensive.
“We need to get people informed about complicated science,” said Ms. Solomon. “This will be imperative if we want to have productive discussions about our future.”
Learn more about the future of gene editing at NYSCF’s upcoming event with the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics held at the NYSCF Research Institute on May 8th.
Read an excerpt from Dr. Metzl’s book here.