Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and Steve Jobs. His new book is The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race, a gripping account of how Nobel Prize-winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a scientific revolution that gives humanity the power to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and give birth to healthier babies.
Doudna has invented a technology that has the potential to change human history: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it has opened up a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, the computer and the internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code.
Doudna’s work raises huge questions: Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or strength or IQ of their children?
To answer these questions and more Walter spoke to presenter and paediatrician Dr Guddi Singh.
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