Gene Editing: Promise & Peril

Source: Common Weal Magazine

Several of my children, in the summer before they began kindergarten, participated in a program called “safety city.” Among the ditties that seem destined to stick in my head forever is one they learned there:

The traffic light you see ahead
is sometimes green and sometimes red.
The red on top means “stop, stop, stop.”
The green below means “go, go, go.”

Noticeably missing from this little piece of poetic instruction is the yellow light.  Perhaps one has to be a little older to learn how to deal with it. We’re supposed to stop when the light turns yellow, but sometimes we’re already quite near the intersection. So then we tend to treat it like a warning sign and just “proceed with caution.”

I’m pretty sure I never thought much about the yellow light until I learned to drive. In the early stages of my driving experience I heeded it religiously. I never entered an intersection on a yellow light. I think I even slowed just slightly (a bad idea actually) as I approached an intersection, just in case the yellow light should suddenly appear. My approach was to proceed with caution.

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