When I was a child, the biggest perceived threat to our long-term existence as a species was the bomb. While we certainly cannot call that ‘the good ol’ days’, the number and types of threats today to the future of life on Earth have proliferated far beyond the spread of nuclear technology worldwide.
Take gene manipulation. It’s been around for a while now. But scientists around the world have agreed on a moratorium against manipulating human germ cells or embryos. That’s because the technology is not yet ready for prime time – despite recent advances, including the new technique called CRISPR/Cas9, developed by Jennifer Doudna, a scientist at UC Berkeley.