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Can Humans Guide Evolution Through Gene Editing?

February 12, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin with the Baltimore Coalition of Reason! Join us for pizza and a lecture on evolution and gene manipulation by Dr. Allan Spradling of the Carnegie Institution for Science. The talk description is below.

When: Monday, February 12, 6:30 pm pizza, 7:00 pm lecture (doors open at 6:15)
Where: Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St.

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/bmorethical/events/246738771/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/208721979705583/

We will order pizza for dinner at a suggested cost of $6 per person. Please RSVP if you would like to eat so we can order enough pizza. You can join the Meetup event, or contact us by email at BmoreCoR@gmail.com, or call us at 443-267-8585.


Childcare will be provided on request. Please let us know by February 10 if you will be bringing children and we will arrange for a childcare provider. The lecture will be done by 8:00 pm so reasonable weeknight bedtime is still possible.

Directions and Parking

Parking is free on Franklin St. after 6:00 pm. A parking garage is also available at the SW corner of Charles and Franklin. Directions are at


Title: Can humans soon guide evolution in the wild using gene editing?

Description: Evolution results from competition in the wild between individuals of a species that differ in characteristics genetically encoded in their DNA. In recent years making small changes in animal and human DNA genomes has become easier due to the advent of CRISPR gene editing. Will it be possible in the near future to modify mosquito populations to reduce vector borne disease, or even to make “enhanced” humans?

Speaker Bio: Allan Spradling is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and former Director of the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, located here in Baltimore. In 1982, Spradling and his colleague Gerry Rubin became the first scientists to correct a genetic defect (eye color) in a multicellular organism (the fruit fly Drosophila) using a new method of gene transfer based on transposable elements. He and his colleagues in the genetics community subsequently generated and studied tens of thousands of “transgenic” organisms, revealing the much about what can and can’t be accomplished by gene editing.


Dr. Allan Spradling’s page:


Baltimore Coalition of Reason



February 12, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Baltimore Ethical Society
306 W. Franklin St., Baltimore, MD 21201 United States