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Look, the reason there’s demand for consumer genetics right now isn’t just because the costs are crashing.It’s also because humans have all these long standing traditions about heredity.I understand people who don’t want to share their DNA at all, and ultimately I think people should have autonomy over their own data. Crispr gets a lot of coverage (including here at WIRED). Not to diminish the importance of Crispr; it’s certainly going to be a mainstay for developing medicines and crops going forward, at least until the next better tool comes along.
On the one hand it’s important to find a connection with our pasts.
Especially for people whose families have been severed by things like slavery and genocide.
Molteni studied biology and ultimate frisbee at Carleton College...
Sandiford defines heredity as “the sum total of the potentialities possessed by an organism in the zygote stage of its existence”.
It’s the thing that ties families together—that gives shape to their shared history of stories, of homes, of personalities.
And more and more, it’s the way we understand families’ shared inheritance.
There’s a huge leap to go from sequenced DNA to certainty about what that DNA means. So we are going to start taking control of heredity in really awesome, powerful ways.
And another huge leap to changing DNA to get an outcome we want. That being said, we shouldn’t indulge every fantasy and nightmare we might have about fundamentally changing human nature.
And yes, 50 percent of that DNA is also in my kids but nobody knows which 50 percent.
I mean, these are hard questions, I don’t think there’s any one correct answer.