Dr. George Church is a geneticist and molecular engineer who is working to revive the extinct woolly mammoth. He is the Robert Winthrop professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard and MIT. Dr. Church developed methods used for the first genome sequence and founded the Personal Genome Project. He has earned dozens of awards and honors, including Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” and is the author of 490 papers, 130 patent publications, and the book “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.”
More About Dr. George Church
Ben Mezrich and George Church discuss woolly mammoths.
George Church discusses de-extinction at TEDxDeExtinction.
"The Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival team headed by George Church (the Church Lab) is working to identify cold climate adapted alleles of the mammoth genome and edit them into living elephant cells. From there, scientists will study the expression of Woolly Mammoth mutations to test predictions about gene function."
"Harvard University’s George Church is a molecular geneticist, whose roster of achievements includes assisting the development of DNA sequencing, heading the race to edit the human genome, and pioneering the effort to bring back extinct creatures such as the woolly mammoth. We have a duty to put these technologies to work, he tells Michael Brooks"
"Over the course of his 30-plus-year career, George Church has pioneered several transformative fields in medicine, including genomic sequencing, synthetic biology, and, most recently, genome engineering. In this One-on-One, Medscape Editor-in-Chief Eric Topol talked with Dr Church about CRISPR, editing embryos, and bringing back the woolly mammoth."
“That may be true, he admits. But he says people should acknowledge that 1) nothing anyone does is without risk, and 2) doing nothing also entails risk. 'There's a dark side to every technology,' he argues. Cars kill 33,000 people a year in the United States, but that doesn't discourage people from driving or riding in cars. 'New technologies always have a higher ratio of scary stories associated with them because they're still unknown.' Making a new technology safe and effective doesn't mean making it perfectly safe and perfectly effective, he adds. 'It means making it safer and more effective than whatever else is out there.'"
"Religious leaders and bioethicists have debated genome editing for decades, but it’s largely been a theoretical consideration. CRISPR makes once-theoretical notions — say, editing the genomes of embryos — a very real possibility. (Those changes are called “germline” edits and would be passed on to future generations.) It’s a revolution that’s being driven by scientists like Wu’s husband, famed geneticist and her Harvard Medical School colleague George Church."