Playing with Genes

This course explores divisive bioethical issues surrounding our growing ability to analyze and manipulate genes in humans, animals and plants. Students are introduced to the basics of the human genome, the technology such as CRISPR that allows for genetic manipulation and the possibilities that provides in health and understanding genetic disease. Students discuss selected readings, films and complete creative writing assignments while exploring the bioethical side of genetic manipulation, gene therapy, cloning and reproductive technologies, such as three parent babies. With the professor, guest speakers and their peers, students consider personalized medicine and its impact on healthcare, in addition to genetic engineering of animals in the fight against disease (eg. Zika) and genetically modified foods.