CRISPR in Context: The New World of Human Genetic Engineering

It’s happened. The first children genetically engineered with the powerful DNA-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 have been born to a woman in China. Their altered genes will be passed to their children, and their children’s children. Join CRISPR’s co-discoverer, microbiologist Jennifer Doudna, as we explore the perils and the promise of this powerful technology. It is not the first time human ingenuity has created something capable of doing us great good and great harm. Are we up to the challenge of guiding how CRISPR will shape the future?

PARTICIPANTS: Jennifer Doudna, Jamie Metzl, William Hurlbut



0:03 – Opening film
1:55 – Jennifer Doudna introduction
2:25 – How do we learn to use CRISPR technology wisely?
3:29 – The basics of understanding CRISPR
6:04 – Genetic engineering explainer film
7:39 – How can CRISPR help the worldwide food chain?
9:57 – Genetic disease treatment
14:25 – Improving quality of life
15:55 – Designer babies
17:55 – The gene drive
19:25 – Confronting the ethical implications of CRISPR
23:55 – Jennifer’s childhood in Hawaii
28:25 – Patents
32:08 – Importance of accuracy
32:40 – Germ cells vs somatic cells
35:58 – He Jiankui controversy
40:05 – What makes CRISPR dangerous?
43:48 – How do we enforce regulation of CRISPR use?
53:50 – The aftermath of He Jiankui’s work
1:09:25 – How do we make CRISPR technology accessible globally?
1:14:00 – How do we balance natural biology and CRISPR?
1:18:44 – How will CRISPR impact our future as a species?

– Produced by Nils Kongshaug
– Associate Produced by Emmalina Glinskis
– Music provided by APM
– Additional images and footage provided by: Getty Images, Shutterstock, Videoblocks.
– Recorded at the Simons Foundation’s Gerald D. Fishbaum Auditorium

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The series, “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation.

– SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel and “ring the bell” for all the latest videos from WSF
– VISIT our Website:
– LIKE us on Facebook:
– FOLLOW us on Twitter:

Category: Technology
About The Author