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CRISPR immunity: a case study for justified somatic genetic modification?
  1. Eli Y Adashi1,
  2. Ivan Glenn Cohen2
  1. 1 Medical Science, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  2. 2 Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Eli Y Adashi, Medical Science, Brown University, Providence, RI 02906, USA; eli_adashi{at}


The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has killed thousands across the world. SARS-CoV-2 is the latest but surely not the last such global pandemic we will face. The biomedical response to such pandemics includes treatment, vaccination, and so on. In this paper, though, we argue that it is time to consider an additional strategy: the somatic (non-heritable) enhancement of human immunity. We argue for this approach and consider bioethics objections we believe can be overcome.

  • clinical ethics
  • enhancement
  • ethics
  • genetic engineering

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Data availability statement

There are no data in this work.

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally to the writing of the submitted manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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