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Will genome editing lead to “designer life”?

Topic in Focus

Will genome editing lead to “designer life”?

It sounds like a promise of salvation: diseased segments of DNA are cut out using molecular scissors and replaced with healthy segments. That is the basic principle of genome editing. Yet these new methods are also controversial. While robust, high-yield crops can help combat famine, concerns are also growing about their unpredictable impact on the environment. New cures and treatment methods raise questions about the possible long-term effects of interventions to the germ-line.

More   Discussion Paper   2017 Annual Assembly of the Leopoldina

Possible applications

Healing hereditary diseases, breeding robust animals and plants – everything seems possible.

Pros and cons of genome editing

Scientists discuss the opportunities as well as the risks of genome editing.

Events about genome editing

The Leopoldina hosts symposia, lectures and discussions about genome editing. (German)

All publications about the topic

The Leopoldina publishes statements and discussion papers about genome editing.

Listen about genome editing

Audio clips and documentations as podcast. (German)

Experts on the topic

Scientists from various fields are conducting research on genome editing.




Dr. Henning Steinicke

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 864
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail henning.steinicke @leopoldina.org



Dr. Johannes Fritsch

Head of Office of the Joint Committee for the Handling of Security-Relevant Research

Phone 0160 9121 2676
Fax 030 - 203 8997 - 409
E-Mail johannes.fritsch @leopoldina.org



Caroline Wichmann

Head of Department Press and Public Relations

Phone 0345 - 472 39 - 800
Fax 0345 - 472 39 - 809
E-Mail presse@leopoldina.org

The opportunities and...