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CRISPR pigs, pigoons and the future of organ transplantation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
JournalEtica e Politica
Volume20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Abstract

This paper discusses the possible biofuture imagined by George Church, in which we are able to grow humanized organs in pigs and edit them with CRISPR genome editing technologies so that they are free of porcine endogenous retroviruses that pose a risk for human transplant, and juxtaposes it with the biofuture imagined by Margaret Atwood in her 2003 novel Oryx and Crake. I adopt Ari Shick’s critique of speculative bioethics to show how an over-emphasis on the urgency of the experiments may overshadow other non-medical solutions to the problem of shortage of organs for transplantation. In the end, I draw some reflections on the role that science fiction and speculative fiction play in the construction of biofutures for bioethics.

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