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Q: What do you think of the harsh reaction to what He did?

A: That’s a normal reaction of human population and all life systems, not only humans—maybe birds. Any life system, 90% of a population is very conservative. That’s normal. And maybe 5% is progressive. We just need to wait some time, maybe some years. And we need very good clinical cases to show people that this instrumentation is powerful, but it’s safe and has good results.

Q: Do you expect that if you, too, go forward you will be intensely criticized?

A: In Russia I think not so much. Internationally? I don’t want to move forward until I have approval from ethical committees and regulators, and I think it will not be as crazy as his steps.

Q: Has anything happened since the Nature story appeared? Has any government official called you and said, “Stop this, don’t talk about this?”

A: No. Russia now, I think, is a good country to do this type of experiments. It’s not very free in politics, but it’s very free in science.

Q: What do you think of germline editing that’s not for disease, but for enhancement of things like running speed, IQ, or eye color?

A: It will be the next step. But in 20 to 30 years. Now, I’m opposed to it. In 2040, I’ll support it. I’m not against the idea itself. And these people who are opposed want to have all these things in their children but only by “divine providence,” not by science. They are liars or stupid.

…continue reading ‘Russian Geneticist Answers Challenges to his Plan to Make Gene-Edited Babies’

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