pgEd is thrilled to launch our newest lesson plan, “Genome Editing and CRISPR.” In the past few years, rapid development in a series of genetic technologies, most notably CRISPR, has made it easier than ever before to make targeted changes to genomes. The potential application of these technologies for treating diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and Huntington’s disease, at the DNA level has generated much excitement among researchers and patients. At the same time, technologies such as CRISPR are also raising a number of profound ethical questions related to disability rights, health equity, human enhancement, and our right to make genetic changes that will be inherited by our offspring. As society seeks to balance the benefits and implications of genome editing, there will need to be broad conversations that engage all communities and where diverse values and voices are heard. This lesson presents students with a number of ethical and policy conundrums, giving them the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills by coming up with a list of questions to gather information needed for informed decision-making, and the experts and stakeholders to whom the questions should be asked. Check it out!
This lesson plan is developed with support by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health, as part of pgEd’s ARC (Building Awareness, Respect, and Confidence through Genetics) project.