What Are The Implications of Genome Editing?

By Chyelle Dvorak

Ever wonder about what it would mean to change the DNA of a cell? Genome editing, the process of making changes to the DNA of living organisms, raises some serious ethical questions.

Crown College is partnering with Southwest Christian High School (SWCHS) and the Anselm House to address the question “Should we edit the genome?”. The short lecture and open forum is taking place Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6:00 PM at Southwest Christian High School in Chaska, Minnesota.

Dr. Thor Benson, faculty member of the Science Department at SWCHS, is excited to host an event partnering with Crown College and the University of Minnesota. The event is open to all who are interested and no prerequisite knowledge of the genome or is required to attend.

“This event invites high school and college students, educators and parents as well as interested members of the public to engage in the conversation of genome editing and its various applications,” says Benson. “We hope you will join us for a thought-provoking evening of conversation and learning.”

The lecture and open forum provides both scientists and the public with the opportunity to share ideas and listen to each other. At the beginning of the event, Dr. Michael Smanski, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics (UMN), will speak about genome editing and prepare attendees for a subsequent discussion. Smanski earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin and recently won the Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists.

Dr. Aeisha Thomas, Associate Professor of Biology at Crown College, shares why she believes this discussion is so important:

“I think that technology keeps changing, which has many implications to society,” says Thomas. “The consequences of these changes, such as editing the genome, are both positive and negative. Just as it’s good for the general public to come and hear a lecture on genome editing, it’s also great for the scientists to hear from the public.”

After the lecture, attendees will talk through materials from the Boston Museum of Science at their tables in a guided group discussion. In addition to the lecture and discussion, dessert and coffee are included. To register or find more information, please click here.