Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.

Monday, July 18, 2022

In law symposium, Enríquez follows up genetics book

CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the genome
(NIH Image Gallery CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr)
My friend and once-upon-a-time law student Paul Enríquez, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. (LinkedIn, SSRN), in the spring published The Law, Science, and Policy of Genome Editing in the Boston University Law Review Online (2022).

Dr. Enríquez published the remarkable book Rewriting Nature: The Future of Genome Editing and How to Bridge the Gap Between Law and Science with Cambridge University Press last year. The BU Law Review then invited him to discuss his work as the centerpiece of a Zoom symposium, which I was privileged to attend, in the fall.

In the present article, Enríquez engages with and responds to the dialog of the symposium. Other contributors are Dana Carroll, Katherine Drabiak, Henry T. Greely, Jacob S. Sherkow, Sonia M. Suter, Naomi R. Cahn, Allison M. Whelan, and Michele Goodwin.

Here is the introduction.

Genome editing is the most significant breakthrough of our generation. Rewriting Nature explores the intersection of science, law, and policy as it relates to this powerful technology. Since the manuscript went to press, genome-editing developments have continued apace. Researchers have reported encouraging results from the first clinical trials to treat β-thalassemia and Sickle-Cell Disease, the first wheat-crop variety that is resistant to a crippling fungal disease and features no growth or yield deficits, and proof-of-concept data establishing the therapeutic effects of the first clinical trial involving the injection of a therapy directly into the bloodstream of patients suffering from a genetic, neurological disease. Chinese regulators promulgated rules to approve gene-edited crops. These and other developments are testament to the expansive reach and promise of genome editing. Rewriting Nature showcases the technology’s power to transform what we eat, how we provide healthcare, how we confront the challenges of global climate change, who we are as human beings, and more.

One of my goals in writing the book was to help spur robust dialogue and debate about the future of genome editing and the synergistic roles that law, science and public policy can play in promoting or hindering specific uses of the technology. I am grateful to the Boston University Law Review for organizing this symposium on Rewriting Nature and bringing together an extraordinary group of gifted scholars, academics, entrepreneurs, and thinkers, including several members of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as scientists and lawyers to engage in diverse discussions of my book.... I am encouraged by the consonance on a vast range of ideas among participants but even more so by the disagreement, as it presents opportunities for engagement and progress. My Essay, thus, focuses on the hard questions and challenges that spring from our disagreements, which allowed me to clarify, refine, and expand on ideas presented in Rewriting Nature and to articulate new ones that point towards future work.

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