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Scientists consider new genetic power and its impacts

1:18pm, December 2, 2015

This is the moment geneticists have been waiting for. It’s also the one they’ve been worrying about.

Since the 1970s, scientists have pondered the power of genetic engineering to edit and rewrite the instruction book of life. Such technology has already demonstrated much power, if not the full potential initially envisioned. But now that’s changing, Tina Hesman Saey reports. CRISPR/Cas 9, a gene-editing system plucked from bacteria and developed just in the last few years, appears to be making many of the dreams of early genetic engineers not only possible, but also fairly fast and easy to attain.

Some of those dreams involve editing the genes not just of an individual but of an entire population to prevent disease,

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