Gene Editing: Medicine’s Most Controversial Technology

Login to Watch  

Duration 00:58:03

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jacob M. Appel (MD JD MPH HEC-C DFAPA) is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where he is Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry, Assistant Director of the Academy for Medicine and the Humanities, and Medical Director of the Mental Health Clinic at the East Harlem Health Outreach Program. He also teaches graduate students at Albany Medical College’s Alden March Bioethics Institute. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Sinai, Jacob taught for many years at Brown University and at Yeshiva College, where he was the writer-in-residence. Jacob is the author of five literary novels, ten short story collections, an essay collection, a cozy mystery, a thriller, a volume of poems and a compendium of dilemmas in medical ethics. He is Vice President of the National Book Critics Circle, co-chair of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry’s Committee on Psychiatry & Law, and a Councilor of the New York County Psychiatric Society.


Advances in genetic editing that have existed for decades only in the fantasies of science fiction writers and the fears of bioethicists have finally arrived in the form of CRISPR: a novel technology for which the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded in 2020.  Scientists now have the power to rapidly and accurately edit the genes of plants, animals and human beings—opening the door to reviving extinct species, curing rare diseases, and even growing organs inside pigs for transplantation into people.  Yet CRISPR also affords the opportunity to edit the human germ lines in radical ways–from creating designer babies to inadvertently culling valuable traits that will be needed in the future. In this talk, bioethicist Jacob Appel reviews the science, history and ethics of the world’s most promising and controversial new technology.



2 reviews
5 stars
50 %
4 stars
50 %
3 stars
0 %
2 stars
0 %
1 star
0 %
Richard Williams

Thank you for the informative and interesting lecture.

3 years ago

Very informative

As a biologist, I knew much of what this lecture presented but I did learn a few facts and since it was presented by an ethicist, it explored several aspects that need to be widely discussed. His approach was very “cut and dried” so it was not a dynamic presentation , thus my 4 star rating, but it certainly is worth watching.

11 months ago
Scroll to Top