Radio Program: Euan Ashley and Walter Isaacson
This radio program from The Commonwealth Club draws on two separate events: "Dr. Euan Ashley: The Genome Odyssey" and "Walter Isaacson: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of Humans."
Dr. Ashley and his team, and a small number of others around the country, are currently working to expand the boundaries of our medical capabilities and to envision a future where genome sequencing is available for all, and where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases before they show symptoms and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level.
Jennifer Doudna has changed the life-science field. In 1987, she and her collaborators created CRISPR, an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA, and opened a brave new world of medical miracles. Conversely, the invention of CRISPR raised many moral questions. With the device, scientists can now detect and destroy DNA, hypothetically making humans less susceptible to viruses, preventing depression, enhancing individual height or muscles or IQ. Famed biographer Walter Isaacson follows Doudna from when she first learned what “the double helix” is all the way to her winning the 2020 Nobel Prize.
This radio program features portions of two programs recorded separately.