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Genome Editing and Engineering Life

 Genome editing, stem cell research, and bioengineering have attracted wide attention with the advent of new techniques for manipulating life such as CRISPR Cas9 and gene drives.  Exciting science is, however, tightly coupled with a myriad of social and ethical questions concerning appropriate use.  Does the capacity to manipulate genes and genomes have limits—technical or ethical?  In what ways should social concerns shape what science is done?  In a democratic society, who should decide how we govern contested science, address issues of biosecurity, commercialize biotechnology, and respond to the alluring hopes for biomedical advances?

Emerging science and technology invite us to anticipate and prepare for challenges and uncertainties.  At ASU, scientists, engineers, social scientists, and humanists come together to probe the many questions about how to recognize and reflect on such challenges in order to seek the best possible outcomes for society and science.


Gene Editing Discussions at ASU

If you are interested in participating in any of the discussions below, please contact Karin Ellison at Karin.Ellison@asu.edu.

September 13, 2016                      

What “participatory” means and how to do it right 
Discussion Leaders: Ira Bennett, Dave Guston, Jamey Wetmore 

October 25, 2016

Gene drives as a complex case of governing science-in-society case
Discussion Leaders: Jim Collins, Ben Hurlbut 

November 8, 2016

Discussion Leader: Bert Jacobs 

December 5, 2016

Biomedical advances, stem cell science
Discussion Leaders: David Brafman, Bert Jacobs 

January 24, 2017

Discussion Leaders: Emma Frow, Ben Hurlbut 

February 21, 2017

Business interests and impacts
Discussion Leader: Bob Cook-Deegan 

March 21, 2017

Plans for participatory engagement
Discussion Leaders: Ira Bennett, Dave Guston, Jamey Wetmore 

April 18, 2017



ASU Public Events


October 25, 2016                                                                                       Altering Nature with Gene Drives, Dean of Science Public Lecture
February 25, 2017 Night of the Open Door (Frankenstein)
March 20, 2017 SoLS Cafe: CRISPR Panel
March 21, 2017 CBS Conversation Series with Ben Hurlbut: "Gene Editing, Bioethics and Emerging Challenges of Governance" RSVP here
May 17-24, 2017 A Century of Engineering Life: Organisms, ASU at the Marine Biological Laboratory  (2018 on Engineering Life: Evolution and the Environment)
May 17-19, 2017 5th Annual Governance of Emerging Technologies

ASU Participants Around the World

David Brafman

Cutts, Josh J., Medhi Nikkhah, and David A. Brafman. 2015. "Biomaterial Approaches for Stem Cell-Based Myocardial Tissue Engineering." Biomarker Insights 10 (1): 77-90.

Brafman, David A. 2013. "Constructing Stem Cell Microenvironments using Bioengineering Approaches." Physiological Genomics 45 (23): 1123-1135.

James Collins

Collins, J. P. 2016. How to develop this cutting-edge genetic research responsibly. Gene-drive technology is incredibly promising. But we need to proceed carefully. Slate, posted July 21, 2016.

Kaebnick, G. K., E. Heitman, J. P. Collins, J. A. Delborne, W. Landis, K. Sawyer, L. A. Taneyhill, and D. E. Winickoff. 2016, in press. “Reasonable precaution and the governance of emerging technologies.” Science 354.

Heitman, E., K. Sawyer, J. P. Collins. 2016, in press. Guest Editorial. Gene drives on the horizon: Issues for biosafety. Applied Biosafety 21.

Collins, James P., Kenneth A. Oye, and Kevin Esvelt. 2014. "Regulating Gene Drives." 345 (6197): 626-628.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Robert Cook-Degan

Cook-Deegan, Robert, Noah C. Perin, and Ilse R. Wiechers. 2013. "The Emergence of Commercial Genomics: Analysis of the Rise of a Biotechnology Subsector during the Human Genome Project, 1990 to 2004." Genome Editing 5 (83).

Cook-Deegan, Robert. 2011. "Gene Patents: The Shadow of Uncertainty." Science 331 (6019): 873-874.

Emma Frow

Frow, Emma and Jane Calvert. 2016. "Engineering Life." Workshop, Tempe, AZ, November 1 - 4.

Frow, Emma. 2016. "Mapping Synthetic Biology Workflows." Workshop, Tempe, AZ, Nov 4.

Frow, Emma. 2015. "Reframing the Debate around CRISPR and Genome Editing." Presented at New Tools for Science Policy Seminar Series, Washington DC, December 9.

Frow, Emma. 2015. "CRISPR in Context." Presented at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Laboratory Course on Synthetic Biology, August.

Balmer, Andrew S., Jane Calvert, Claire Marris, Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Emma Frow, Matthew Kearnes, Kate Bulpin, Pablo Schyfter, Adrian Mackenzie, and Paul Martin. 2015. “Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community.” Science and Technology Studies 3: http://www.sciencetechnologystudies.org/node/2573.

Evans, Sam Weiss, and Emma Frow. 2015. “Taking care in synthetic biology.” In Absence in Science, Security and Policy: From Research Agendas to Global Strategy, eds B. Rappert & B. Balmer. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp.132-153.

Calvert, Jane, and Emma Frow. 2015. "The Synthetic Yeast Project as a Topic for Social Scientific Investigation." Macquarie Law Journal 15: 23-37.

Frow, Emma K. 2015. “Rhetorics and practices of democratization in synthetic biology.” In Knowing New Biotechnologies: Social Aspects of Technological Convergence, Weinroth, M. & Rodrigues, E. (eds). London: Routledge, 2015, pp.174-187.

Calvert, Jane, and Emma Frow. 2013. "Opening Up the Future(s) of Synthetic Biology." Futures 48: 32-43.

Frow, Emma K. 2013. "Making Big Promises Come True? Articulating and Realizing Value in Synthetic Biology.” BioSocieties 8 (4): 432-448.

Schyfter, Pablo, and Emma Frow. 2013. "GUEST EDITORIAL: Synthetic Biology: Making Biology into an Engineering Discipline.” Engineering Studies 5 (1): 1-5.

Calvert, Jane, and Emma Frow. 2013. "Social Dimensions of Microbial Synthetic Biology.” Methods in Microbiology 40: 69-86.

Frow, Emma K., and Jane Calvert. 2013. “Can simple biological systems be built from standardized interchangeable parts?” Negotiating biology and engineering in synthetic biology. Engineering Studies 5(1): 42-58.

Wiek, Armin, David Guston, Emma Frow, and Jane Calvert. 2012. "Sustainability and Anticipatory Governance in Synthetic Biology." International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development 3 (2): 14.

David Guston

Wiek, Armin, David Guston, Emma Frow, and Jane Calvert. 2012. "Sustainability and Anticipatory Governance in Synthetic Biology." International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development 3 (2): 14.

Karmella Haynes

Haynes, Karmella A. 2016. "Synthetic Biology: Building Genetic Containment." Nature: Chemical Biology (12): 55-56.

Haynes, Karmella. 2016. "Synthetic Biology and Sharing Big.” Museums & Social Issues 11 (1): 21.

Davis, Rene, Gerd H. G. Moe-Behrens, and Karmella A. Haynes. 2013. "Preparing Synthetic Biology for the World." Frontiers in Microbiology 4 (5).

Silver, Pamela A., Karmella A. Haynes, and Ron Weiss. 2012. "Synthetic Meets Cell Biology." Molecular Biology of the Cell 23 (6): 967.

Haynes, Karmella A., and Pamela A. Silver. 2011. "Synthetic Reversal of Epigenetic Silencing." The Journal of Biological Chemistry (286).

J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2016. “Taking Responsibility: Gene Editing, Human Genetic Engineering, and the Politics of Governing Research,” Presented at Guffey Lecture in the History of Medicine, University of Kansas Medicine Center, Kansas City, Kansas, October 27.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2016. “Laws of Containment: Control without Limits in the New Biology,” Presented at SUNY, Buffalo School of Law, Buffalo, New York, October 21.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2016. Expert, Application in Human Biomedicine Working Group, Workshop on Gene Editing in an International Context: Scientific, Economic and Social Issues across Sectors, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Converging Technologies, Ottawa, Canada, September 29-30.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2016. “The Demands of CRISPR’s World: Imagination, Deliberation, and Governance,” Presented at CRISPR Technology: Responsible Discourse about Science & Bioethics, University of California at Davis, May 26.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2016. “Taking Responsibility: Science and Its Revolutions, From Recombinant DNA to Gene Editing” Presented at Arthur J. Schmitt Lecture, Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, April 7.

Hurlbut, J.B. 2016. “IRBs and germline editing research: The outer limits of oversight.” IRB Advisor, 46-47.

Hurlbut, J. Benjamin. 2016. “The Demands of CRISPR’S World.” Ethics & Medics 41(4): 1-2.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2015. “Human Dimensions of the New Biology,” Presented at The Integration of Education in the Arts and Humanities with Education in Sciences, Engineering, Technology and Medicine, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Washington, D.C., December 2.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2015. Moderator and Policy Expert, Session on Public Benefits and Social Justice International Summit on Human Gene Editing, convened by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, the Royal Society, and the Chinese National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., December 1.

Hurlbut, Benjamin. 2015. “Appropriate(d) Governance: Democracy, Deliberation, and the Legacy of Asilomar.” Presented at Genome on Demand: Exploring the Implications of Human Genome Editing, convened by the Health Council of the Netherlands & Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 5-6.

Hurlbut, J. Benjamin. 2015. “Remembering the Future: Science, Law, and the Legacy of Asilomar.” In Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power, edited by Sheila Jasanoff and Sang-Hyun Kim. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press: 126-51.

Hurlbut, Benjamin J. 2015. "Religions and Public Reason in the Politics of Biotechnology." Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 29 (2): 101-128.

Hurlbut, J. Benjamin. 2015. “Limits of Responsibility: Genome Editing, Asilomar, and the Politics of Deliberation.” Hastings Center Report 45(5): 11–14.

Jasanoff, Sheila, J. Benjamin Hurlbut, and Krishanu Saha. 2015. “CRISPR Democracy.” Issues in Science and Technology 32(1): 25-32.

Hurlbut, J. Benjamin. 2015. “Reimagining Responsibility in Synthetic Biology.” Journal of Responsible Innovation 2(1): 113–16.

Hurlbut, J. Benjamin, Sheila Jasanoff, and Krishanu Saha. 2015. “Human Genetic Engineering Demands More Than a Moratorium.” The Guardian. London.

Samira Kiani

Guye, P., MR Ebrahimkhani, N. Kipniss, JJ Velazquez, E. Schoenfeld, S. Kiani, LG Griffith, and R. Weiss. 2016. “Genetically Engineering Self-Organization of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into a Liver Bud-Like Tissue Using Gata6.” Nature Communications 7: 10243.

Kiani, S., A. Chavez, M. Tuttle, RN Hal, R. Chari, D. Ter-Ovanesyan, J. Qian, BW Pruitt, J Beal, S Vora, J Buchthal, EJK Kowal, MR Ebrahimkhani, JJ Collins, R Weiss, and G Church. 2015. “Cas9 gRNA Engineering for Genome Editing, Activation And Repression.” Nature Methods 12 (11): 1051-4.

Chavez, A., J. Scheiman, S. Vora, BW Pruitt, M. Tuttle, EPR Iyer, SL Lin, S Kiani, CD Guzman, DJ Wiegand, D Ter-Ovanesyan, JL Braff, N Davidsohn, BE Housden, N Perrimon, R Weiss, J Aach, JJ Collins, and GM Church. 2015. “Highly Efficient Cas9-Mediated Transcriptional Programming.” Nature Methods 12 (4): 326-8.

Kiani, S., J. Beal, MR Ebrahimkhani, J. Huh, RN Hall, Z. Xie, YQ Li, and R. Weiss. 2014. “CRISPR Transcriptional Repression Devices And Layered Circuits In Mammalian Cells.” Nature Methods 11 (7): 723-6.

Forster, Ryan, Kunitoshi Chiba, Lorian Schaeffer, Samuel G. Regalado, Christine S. Lai, Qing Gao, Samira Kiani, et al. 2014. “Human Intestinal Tissue With Adult Stem Cell Properties Derived From Pluripotent Stem Cells.” Stem Cell Reports 2 (6): 838-52.

Hockemeyer, Dirk, Haoyi Wang, Samira Kiani, Christine S. Lai, Qing Gao, John P. Cassady, Gregory J. Cost, et al. 2011. “Genetic Engineering of Human Pluripotent Cells Using TALE Nucleases.” Nature Biotechnology 29 (8): 731-4. 

Jane Maienschein

Maienschein, Jane. 2011. "History and Philosophy of Science at Work: Making Regenerative Medicine Research Better." In Integrating History and Philosophy of Science, edited by Seymour Mauskopf and Tad Schmaltz. Vol. 263, 201-220: Springer.

Maienschein, Jane. 2014. "Stem Cell Research Utilizing Embryonic Tissue SHOULD be Conducted." In Contemporary Debates in Bioethics, edited by Robert Arp and Glenn McGee, 237-247: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gary Marchant

Mandel, Gregory N., and Gary E. Marchant. 2014. “The Living Regulatory Challenges of Synthetic Biology.” Iowa Law Review 100 (1): 155-200.

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