Microbiologist by training from University of Bombay (BSc and MSc). Scientist by choice. PhD in Biology from University of California Irvine,...
Genome editing technology – wherein you can change the genetic information in the DNA of an individual – is here. In fact, it’s been here for some time, already shown in laboratory studies to be of use for plants, and for containing mosquito populations. For human health, genome editing offers the exciting possibility of correcting diseases such as Thalassemia and Muscular Dystrophy, diseases that are currently incurable but their genetic causes are known. But, this technology also promises to open up a Pandora’s box of ethical dilemmas, as shown by the recent case of the scientist in China who edited the genome of twin girls without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Immediately the questions arise – What will we use genome editing for? How will we be responsible to the as yet unborn lives, whose genomes we are deciding to edit (genome editing happens at the IVF stage)? How will we prevent misuse? Are we ready for the power of this knowledge?
We are delighted to invite biologist Sreelaja Nair - always a scientist, sometimes a Bharatanatyam dancer, sporadically a poet - to Mumbai Local, to talk to us about genome editing – the beauty of the discovery, its potential and possibilities, and the very real ethical issues it places in front of us. “What is our responsibility towards others – other lives, other species?” she asks. “Are we ready and capable of assuming that responsibility as we have put ourselves at the top of the evolutionary pyramid?”
Come join us on Saturday to look deep inside the power and beauty of science and consider our relationship with what it offers. Live attendance is best, but if you can’t make it, science makes it possible for you to enjoy the session anyway – you can join us on live feed on our Facebook page.
Curated by Arnab Bhattacharya.
RSVP for this session begins on Monday 27 May, 2019.
Microbiologist by training from University of Bombay (BSc and MSc). Scientist by choice. PhD in Biology from University of California Irvine, where I researched on how the jaw skeleton forms (it is completely different from the rest of your skeleton), using zebrafish embryos. Post-PhD training from University of Wisconsin Madison, where I researched on information an egg contains that allows embryos to develop into normal little fish (the same happens in humans). Since 2012, an Assistant Professor at TIFR, training the next generation of scientists and researching on how embryos that look so simple at the beginning, magically transform into complex, live fish.