Just Editing?

A comparative responsible innovation approach to animal genome editing

This research project by Wageningen University and Utrecht University develops a comparative responsible innovation approach to examine the conditions, if any, under which genome editing technology can and should be applied to animal breeding applications. 

On the one hand, genome editing in farming animals promises various benefits, including:

  • Improvements in productivity - for example by breeding animals that convert feed more efficiently into animal products
  • Improvements in animal welfare - for example by breeding cows that do not grow horns and thus do not have to be dehorned
  • Improvements in disease resistance - for example by breeding pigs that are resistant to African Swine Fever

On the other hand, however, this application of genome editing technology raises ethical and societal concerns. The question is therefore whether, and if so, under what conditions the technology can become embedded responsibly in society. 

Using the anticipate-include-reflect-respond (AIRR) framework, social scientists, ethicists, beta scientists, and breeding companies collaborate to anticipate, reflect on and respond to ethical and societal concerns about this technology.


  • Article published in 'Podium voor Bioethiek'

    podium voor bioethiekJanuary 2019: Podium voor Bioethiek published our article 'Just editing? Maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren en genome editing bij dieren'.

    "Genome editing is een nieuwe techniek om het genetische materiaal van een organisme – het genoom – te veranderen. Wetenschappers zien deze techniek en in het bijzonder de CRISPR- Cas techniek als gemakkelijker in gebruik, specifieker, veelzijdiger en toegankelijker dan de klassieke mutagenese technieken. Wereldwijd is genome editing dan ook snel van betekenis geworden in diverse vakgebieden. Wat kan het concept maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren hier betekenen?"

    Read more
    '

CONTACT

Prof dr Phil MacNaghten
Knowledge, Technogy and Innovation Group
Wageningen University and Research
The Netherlands

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