Prof. Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Edze Westra are known for their work on CRISPR-Cas, a defense system present in many bacterial species. The potential applications of these systems may have a tremendous impact on medicine and biotechnology. CRISPR-systems allow for editing of DNA, the genetic code in humans, animals and plants. A gene causing disease could simply be replaced by a desired variant allowing for example a potentially incurable disease to be tackled, or plant breeding to be accelerated towards specified targets. This raises big ethical issues; Are scientists allowed to pursue these endeavors? Can we oversee the impact and risks of this technology? And if we decide to edit genomes, what are our ethical limits?
15.00 Room C1040 opens
15:30 – 17:15 Welcome by John van der Oost, lectures by Edze Westra and Jennifer Doudna and a debate moderated by Philip Macnaghten.
17:15- 18:00 Drinks in The Spot (Orion)