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GENE-IE’S OUT OF THE BOTTLE

GENE-IE’S OUT OF THE BOTTLE

Last week, a Chinese scientist sparked an uproar when he claimed that a woman had given birth to two babies whose DNA he had modified using an experimental gene-editing technology called CRISPR.


Here's a quick the rundown on why this is a big deal, politically.

What happened? The Chinese scientist, He Jiankiu, used CRISPR, a cheap, precise, and widely available DNA-editing technique, to change the genes of two human embryos before implanting them in their mother's womb. CRISPR had previously only been used in plant and animal experiments, on adult cancer patients, or non-viable human embryos. Its use to create gene-modified babies has sparked outrage and alarm.

What's the political angle? Internationally, governments and the private sector are excited about CRISPR, which could revolutionize agriculture and the treatment of disease by enabling edits to organisms' genes. Yet even before last week's news, some people worried that the same technology could be prone to ecological accidents, or be used by governments or terrorists to create new bio-weapons.

He's experiments, which were apparently carried out without basic oversight, will reinforce those concerns. It might eventually be possible to create human beings with improved intelligence, longer lifespans, or other genetic enhancements – a trend that would raise serious ethical issues, and could even inflame political tensions between countries that have conflicting views about which types of genetic changes should be allowed.

What's the upshot? Assuming the scientist's claims hold up to scrutiny, the world of custom-designed humans is no longer a far-off sci-fi fantasy, it's happening now. Questions about how to safely and ethically manage this revolution just took on new urgency.

Urbanization may radically change not only the landscape but also investors' portfolios. Creating the livable urban centers of tomorrow calls for a revolution in the way we provide homes, transport, health, education and much more.

Our expert guests will explore the future of cities and its implications for your wealth.

Learn more.

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his vision for an "America First" foreign policy, which symbolized a radical departure from the US' longtime approach to international politics and diplomacy.

In electing Donald Trump, a political outsider, to the top job, American voters essentially gave him a mandate to follow through on these promises. So, has he?

Trade

"A continuing rape of our country."

On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a 12 country trade deal pushed by the Obama administration — would "rape" America's economy by imperiling the manufacturing sector, closing factories, and taking more jobs overseas.

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Listen: If the 2016 presidential election taught us anything, it's that only fools make predictions. So let's give it a go! In this episode of the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer poses a basic question: If Joe Biden wins the presidency how would he reshape U.S. foreign policy? Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as a top State Department official under President Obama and now runs the think tank New America, weighs in.

In an op-ed titled "Iran Arms Embargo Reckoning," the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that ending the UN arms embargo on Iran was a major flaw of the 2015 nuclear deal and questions whether Biden could do anything to contain Iran at this point. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Henry Rome take out the Red Pen to explain why this discussion misrepresents the importance of the embargo and the consequences for its expiration.

So, the US presidential election is now just days away, and today's selection is focusing on a specific aspect of foreign policy that will certainly change depending on who wins in the presidential contest—namely America's approach to Iran.

You've heard me talk before about the many similarities between Trump and Biden on some international policies, like on China or on Afghanistan. But Iran is definitely not one of those. Trump hated the JCPOA, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, put together under the Obama administration, and he walked away from it unilaterally. Joe Biden, if he were to become president, would try to bring it back.

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It almost didn't happen — but here we are again. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden face off tonight in the final presidential debate of the 2020 US election campaign.

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