Edward McCabe on Synthetic DNA

Edward McCabe

Edward McCabe, co-author, with Linda McCabe, of DNA: Promise and Peril, was interviewed recently on KABC 7 News, following the news that a research team led by scientist J. Craig Venter successfully transplanted a synthetic genome into another cell.

“It is science fiction that is moving toward reality”, said McCabe, co-director of the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics, in the interview. Engineering DNA to behave in new ways has enormous potential benefits, yet each new breakthrough carries risks and provokes new scientific, ethical, and philosophical questions. Said McCabe in the ABC 7 report: “[W]e need to move science forward, and we need to always be discussing what are the tensions between good uses and evil uses of that technology.”

Science/AAAS, where Venter’s team’s breakthrough findings are published, has an online question-and-answer section that addresses some of the implications of this research.

Watch the KABC 7 Los Angeles News report.