Josiah Zayner wants to make gene editing easy, according to Fast Company.
Zayner argues that, rather than having to know the technical ins and outs, people should just be able to say they want to make a purple mushroom. "That's as difficult as it should be for a human being to genetically modify something," he said at the SynBioBeta conference, according to Fast Company.
He also offered audience members vials that he said contained the CRISPR/Cas9 editing system targeted to the myostatin gene. He injected himself with it on stage, in what he tells Fast Company was a bid to end the discussion on whether or not people should modify themselves. "It's too late: I already made the choice for you," he says. "Argument over. Let's get on with it now."
Others note, though, that even if such self-experimentation works, it might not be effective as it might not alter enough cells or is done too late.
And it might not be safe. Alex Marson from the University of California, San Francisco, tells Fast Company that there are still unknowns about the safety of editing human cells. "It's critical that this goes through careful and rigorous safety tests for each application, and it's done in a responsible manner," he says.