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Our Expert Voices conversation on DIY biohacking.

CRISPR-kits allow people to do at home what once was reserved for only the highest-tech research labs: turn on and off gene expression. Therefore, DIY CRISPR kits may target biohackers' own genes by 2040; CRISPRing nerve tissue may come to be seen on par with taking ecstasy. The future of fun is in biohackers' hands.

If you look at past interests of this community to guide predictions, we think it'll be enhancing human senses — heightening sensitivity to touch, achieving a better high, a more satisfying sexual encounter. Mix gene hacking with teenage or 20-something DIY gene hackers and you get mighty efforts to have a more fun night out.

From an ethical perspective, we should worry about dangerous effects of DIY gene editing, including off-target effects. The use of CRISPR in basements and dorm rooms, and subsequent flood of YouTube videos chronicling CRISPR-fueled experiences, mean that its risks might not be fully characterized or understood before others join in.

Bottom line: A genetically enhanced high may be so intense that the notion of addiction won't even capture the attachment people may have to their enhanced experiences. They may be so intense that they overwhelm those who try to indulge.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
4 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

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