News & Opinion | July 2, 2018 9:24 am

John Oliver Warns Against Dangers of Gene Editing and “Designer Babies”

“The more control people have over the ability to design their children, the bigger the moral questions that raises."

John Oliver talks gene editing on 'Last Week Tonight' (HBO)
John Oliver talks gene editing on 'Last Week Tonight' (HBO)

John Oliver’s most recent investigation on Last Week Tonight delves into the dangers of gene editing through CRISPR technology, which Oliver explains is a tech that allows issues in DNA to be “cut out and paste in a fix, at which point presumably Clippy shows up and says, ‘Hi, it looks like you’re trying to play God and alter the basic building blocks of life. Need some help?‘”

Making headlines for everything from reducing autism symptoms in mice to potentially predicting the risk of heart disease, CRISPR is promising for many — but Oliver points out that there are countless issues that arise from it, including the possibility that people will use it for “enhancements,” rather than fighting disease.

“The more control people have over the ability to design their children, the bigger the moral questions that raises — up to and including, who decides what constitutes a genetic problem that needs to be ‘fixed’?”

Take a look at the clip below.