#crisprbabies and #MarsInSight : what a week!

26.-30. November 2018: what a week! Almost like science fiction is coming reality. We observe the very first sun setting on Mars and we have to deal with the first crisprbabies.

I was asked if our research will change after this human experiment.

In my opinion, the news from China will not affect our research or genome research in general. It is important that the benefits and limits of Crispr technology are discussed in public. Theoretically, it was clear to all scientists working with Crispr that at some point they would also do experiments on human embryos - the cure of diseases by Crispr is an extremely positive prospect. What is shocking is that it was done at such an early stage and obviously so badly and unethically.

Furthermore, I think that a moratorium or a general consensus of scientists won't change too much. The technology is available and will be used sooner or later. Self-regulation - without legal control - will not stop anyone from starting ethically questionable experiments. Even with the threat of legal consequences, "criminal" scientists will not necessarily be deterred from conducting unethical experiments. 
Hope and justified misgivings lie very close together here. 

It is important that the discussions about the possibilities and risks are not conducted in the ivory tower of the researchers, but that a broad public discussion is initiated.