With his knack for extracting hilarity from complex subjects, Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver tackled the gene-editing tool Crispr this week, to the relief of high school science teachers everywhere. Pioneered in recent years, Crispr has the potential to eradicate many diseases, but could also, in theory, permanently alter whole species in regrettable ways. (Though we are unlikely to end up with 30-foot wolves like the one in Rampage.)
Oliver also takes some nice shots at hype over new technologies. (From an actual news clip: Interviewer: “Could Crispr give us unicorns?” Scientist: “So…”)
Let Oliver explain more. And if you want to take a deeper dive, see our April interview with gene-drive pioneer Kevin Esvelt (whose high degree of caution Oliver lauds), or our review of Crispr pioneer Jennifer Doudna’s recent book.