The Dark Side of World-Changing Technologies

February 15, 2016: Read article in Huffington Post Tech. “There are numerous novel technologies that will change society and empower individuals — but they have a dark side that’s all too frequently overlooked…We know all too well that technical expertise doesn’t guarantee balanced rationality… The rising empowerment of tech-savvy groups or individuals with bio and cybertechnology will pose an intractable challenge to governments and aggravate the tension between freedom, privacy and...

When Extinction Is a Humanitarian Cause

February 17, 2016: Read article in MIT Technology Review. Humans have driven species to extinction through our hunger, our ignorance, our desire for economic growth, and our indifference. Will one species of mosquito be the first we eliminate for humanitarian...

First Monkeys with Autism Created in China

January 25, 2015: Read article in MIT Technology Review. Scientists in China say they used genetic engineering to create monkeys with a version of autism, and they now plan to attempt to reverse the symptoms by erasing the genetic error in live animals using new genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR. They hope that this work will one day lead to a cure for autism and change the way we study human disabilities. However, their research raises several ethical questions related to genetic engineering and animal welfare, as well as practical considerations over how accurate a model of autism their genetically engineered monkeys...

Pope Francis Said to Bless Human-Animal Chimeras

January 27, 2016: Read article in MIT Technology Review. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a prominent stem-cell biologist, is engaged in efforts to grow human tissue inside of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, and cows. This type of research is sensitive because scientists have to inject human stem cells into early-stage animal embryos, then try to implant the embryos into surrogate animals in the hopes of producing fully-formed human organs for transplant. Belmonte told Scientific American that Pope Francis has personally blessed this ethically questionable research which may blur the line between human and...