Although on the surface 3D printing of human organs seems harmless and life-saving, it does trigger ethical concerns. How will it be regulated? Who can afford this service? Is it playing God? Do religions ban such interference with natural biological progression? Some of my students involved with 3D printing had no problem with it. Others argued that it should be accessible to everyone. We also discussed: Is it okay to prolong one's natural life? What are the ramifications on population?
In this video, students hear from Feng Zhang, a young biologist. He talks in simple terms about how his gene-editing tool (CRISPR) works. Many science students enjoyed this video. Other students were disturbed by the simplistic explanation of something so controversial -- again, the question was posed: "Is Zhang playing God?"
This article is about the power to transform human eggs, engineer them, to produce healthy babies. This mitochondrial engineering is controversial because good DNA may be damaged or extracted when the biochemist is attempting to expunge the bad DNA. My students debated the "playing God" aspect of genetic engineering.
This article conveys the message that testing is a monster eating our public school children. Is a test-maker a modern day Frankenstein? Why is a test used as a goal instead of an assessment? What about students in poverty? How can we close the achievement gap? These questions are explored in the article. My students agreed that more testing does not help them learn.
Most students who watched the android Sophia speak thought it was creepy and she overstepped the bounds of science. This viewing was a great way for students to grapple with creation and its potential effects.
My kids were visibly surprised by android Sophia's facial expressions. When they read Hanson's comment, "Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human," they realized the significance of his power to transform life as we know it.
This story presents several moral dilemmas. The operation is very costly, $300,000, which narrows the clientele. Also, American woman can choose to use a surrogate at a cheaper rate, $100,000, but in other parts of the world paid surrogacy is not allowed. Finally, the patient has to take multiple life-threatening medications to prevent the rejection of the uterus. Students debated natural childbirth versus artificial forms; dangers of elective surgeries, and religious considerations.