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REWRITING LIFE: The Promise and Peril of Editing Your DNA

Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm EST

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl will take you on a journey deep inside your DNA, as we discuss the promise and peril of interfering with the code therein. For the first time in history, human beings have been given the keys to the car called Evolution. A breakthrough technology now allows us to modify genes with ease and precision. Within the next year or so, its power will be starkly revealed when a living, breathing wooly mammoth is born, the first since the Ice Age. For human applications, trials of this new technology are already underway seeking to eradicate various debilitating genetic diseases. But like teenagers at the wheel, we’re still learning to drive. Are we zooming toward a happy, healthy, well-fed future, or toward a cliff? Join Fred Gould, Josephine Johnston, Neville Sanjana, and Samuel H. Sternberg as we plot a course toward a new future.

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience – topics covered in the series “The Big, the Small, and the Complex.” This series is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.


Lesley StahlAnchor, Correspondent

Lesley Stahl is one of America’s most honored and experienced broadcast journalists, her five-decade career marked by political scoops, surprising features and award-winning foreign reporting. She was CBS’ first female White House correspondent and moderator of Face The Nation.

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Fred GouldBiologist

Fred Gould is Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center of North Carolina State University. He conducts research on the application of evolutionary biology and population genetics to sustainable use of insect resistant crops and genetically engineered agricultural pests.

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Josephine JohnstonBioethicist

Josephine Johnston is a bioethicist and lawyer at The Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institute in Garrison, New York. She works on the ethics of emerging biotechnologies with a focus on their use in reproduction, psychiatry, genetics, and neuroscience.

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Neville SanjanaBioengineer, Geneticist

Neville Sanjana is a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biology and of Neuroscience and Physiology at New York University. Dr. Sanjana creates new tools to understand the impact of genetic changes on the nervous system and cancer evolution.

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Sam SternbergBiochemist

Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, runs a research laboratory at Columbia University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. Sternberg’s research focuses on the mechanism of DNA targeting by RNA-guided bacterial immune systems (CRISPR-Cas) and on the development of these systems for genome engineering.

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