NF1 is a common genetic disease with 4,000 variants. When Chuck’s son was diagnosed with an uncured strain, he helped found an unconventional program to find a cure – beginning by genetically modifying pigs to have his son’s variant.
In this episode of Superhuman, the Freethink team interviews Chuck Konsitzke, an associate director at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Dhanu Shanmuganayagam, a professor of animal sciences. The two teamed up to use cutting edge gene-editing technology, CRISPR, to create pig embryos with the specific variant of the disease present in specific NF1 patients. While some people disagree with creating pigs with the mutation, for the families of the children, the hope of a cure is too much to pass up.
What do you think – is it okay to create diseased pigs for the sake of fighting diseases? Let us know what you think in the comments and subscribe for more videos from the frontiers of innovation.
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