Workshop: Genes to Genesis

September 20, 2023 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Workshop: Genes to Genesis
  • Arts and Culture
  • Jewish Learning

Typically a 16-hour course, this intensive, mini workshop led by Genspace scientist Brendan Camellato, will offer a taste in genome editing accessible to anyone. You’ll learn the fundamentals of the new technology, its applications in bioengineering and how to do it yourself. We’ll close by addressing the hype, the reality, and the implications of this technology for our future.

Twenty years ago, when CRISPR-Cas9 genomic editing was first invented, the prospect sounded like science fiction: how can you open up and modify strands of DNA? Today this technology has become widespread – with applications in fields from medicine, to plant biology, to the visual arts. In the two decades since it was invented CRISPR has changed the field of biology, but it has also introduced a flurry of bioethical issues and questions – particularly around germline editing, altering the cells that pass genetic material from one generation to another.

At the Jewish High Holidays, as we welcome in the New Year and consider what we pass down from generation to generation, this two part workshop will provide an opportunity to both try your own hand at genomic editing with a hands-on (and totally accessible to beginners!) lesson in using CRISPR-Cas9 and introduce you to some of the cutting edge Jewish perspectives on the ethical issues and potentials of this technology. Bringing together scientists, scholars, and artists, Genes to Genesis explores how we embrace a new technology and what ancient Jewish wisdom can teach us about how to this technology can shape our future.

Genes to Genesis includes both this workshop as well as a public discussion (ticketed separately) presented by The Neighborhood in collaboration with Genspace.

Genspace is the world’s first community biology lab — a place where people of all backgrounds and identities can learn, create, and grow with the life sciences. Since 2009, they have served the greater New York area by providing hands-on STEAM education programs for youth and adults, cultural and outreach events for the public, and a membership program to support New York’s community of creatives, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Their programs demystify scientific processes, provide a platform for innovation, and cultivate the next generation of life sciences leaders in emerging global technologies, such as biotechnology, neuroscience, epidemiology, genomics, and many more.