While we were all being distracted by cat videos and meaningless tweets by celebrities and politicians:
The US Food and Drug Administration is allowing a dog breeder to use CRISPR to fix a harmful mutation. We are told that the FDA is trying not to stifle innovation.
By a dog breeder.
Why aren’t we reacting to this? An article in the Atlantic suggests it might have something to do with the innocuous acronym for the tool used to fiddle with genetics.
Close your eyes and imagine it is 1938. The German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann have just discovered nuclear fission.
Now give the process of Uncontrolled Nuclear Fission an innocuous acronym like UNUFI, something that sounds a bit like a stuffed animal. And imagine those chemists also discover ways to make it happen within reasonable reach of private parties at manageable costs. Who can then use the process in a barn somewhere out in the woods.
The world might look more like this: