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Work in the UK on genetic technologies

Rapid developments in the science of genetic technologies, particularly the emergence of genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9, have raised the prospect of new applications in people, animals and plants. The Royal Society is working to promote debate in the UK of these possible applications by providing information on genetic technologies, answering questions from members of the public, and organising a public dialogue.

Public dialogue on genetic technologies

Should genetic technologies be used to eradicate the mosquitoes that transmit malaria? What about changing people’s eye colour? These are some of the questions that participants in our 2017 public dialogue on genetic technologies debated.

In 2018 the Society commissioned some follow up work to the dialogue that focused on attitudes towards possible uses of genome editing to improve human health. This was in preparation for the 2018 international human genome editing summit. 

Genetic technologies and human health

What if you had the power to prevent a genetic disorder? Or to cure diseases such as leukaemia? Would you do it? Our infographic on genetic technologies and human health sets out some of the ways these technologies could help address the causes of illness and disease and what members of the public think about these possible applications.

Genetically modified (GM) plants: questions and answers

What would you like to know about genetically modified plants? The Royal Society commissioned Ipsos MORI to find out what people want to know about GM plants, and then drew on a panel of expert, independent scientists to answer your questions. 

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