Saving the world — or possibly destroying it? What does the future of CRISPR genetic engineering portend?


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In the past 70 years, we have uncovered the structure of DNA, the blueprint of life, built machines to read it and harnessed the power to rewrite it. Gene technologies have helped us track and fight COVID-19 faster than any outbreak in history, with real-time genomic sequencing, and new-generation mRNA vaccines. And scientists believe we are on the cusp of doing a whole lot more: even curing incurable diseases. For the first time, gene editing saved lives when it was used to help two toddlers with terminal leukemia at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2015. “The girls are still...