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Note: you must RSVP to attend this virtual meeting. You will be given a link to the meeting after you RSVP. ------ TOPIC: Genetic Engineering: Where do we draw the line? With the latest developments in genetic engineering we now have the ability to manipulate our genes. With the discovery and development of CRISPR, and related technologies, we can now insert “corrected” genes into specific locations in the human genome resulting in expression of these new genes. This can be used to improve, or even cure, adverse medical conditions caused by gene mutations. There are different methods of introducing the edited genes. Some methods will only result in genetic changes being made in the patient. These changes cannot be passed on to subsequent generations. Two examples of this are: 1. Introducing the edited genes through a virus which is injected into the eye to treat Leber’s congenital amaurosis-10 (LCA10); and 2. The same disease can be treated by removing the affected cells and correcting the gene. Then infusing the cells back into the patient. Other techniques can be used to correct the genes in the germ cells. The use of these techniques will be passed on to following generations. A researcher in China has reportedly used one of these techniques to insert genes into germ cells that will protect the offspring from getting HIV. With the germ cell modifications, we have the potential to develop techniques to control our own evolution. We could develop the ability to have “custom designed” offspring and develop superior humans. We could even push Homo sapiens into a new species. This brings up three questions for debate and discussion: 1. Is it ethical to use gene manipulation for medical purposes without changing the germ-line (changes will not be passed on to other generations)? 2. Is it ethical to use gene manipulation for medical purposes to remove the disease causing genes by modifying the germ-line (these changes will be passed on to other generations)? 3. Is it ethical to create superior humans, or even a new species? In other words, where do we draw the line? --- Facilitator: Gary Johnson Background 45 years' experience as a basic research scientist. Research interests and expertise include Development of intracellular imaging probes, Immunochemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Proteoglycan structural analysis. Founder and CEO of Midwest SciTech, LLC. Provides consulting services in development of cell-permeant tracers and immunochemistry. 2013 to present. Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Vergent Biosciences, LLC. Venture funded company to develop cell permeant tracers to detect and image specific intracellular enzymes. Tracers are currently in FDA approval process. [masked]. Founder and CEO of Immunochemistry Technologies, LLC. Provided consulting services in immunochemistry and developed cell permeant tracers for in vitro and in vovo imaging of specific intracellular enzymes. [masked]. Senior Scientist and group leader at Solvay Animal Health. [masked]. Immunochemistry at 3M. [masked]. Senior Scientist at University of Minnesota. [masked] B.S. Microbiology University of Minnesota, 1977. Several publications, papers on cell permeant tracers have been cited in the literature over 1,000 times.