“Editing” Genes: A Case Study About How Language Matters in Bioethics

Meaghan O'Keefe, Sarah Perrault, Jodi Halpern, Lisa Ikemoto, Mark A Yarborough, U. C N B C L H S UC North Bioethics Collaboratory for Life & Health Sciences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Metaphors used to describe new technologies mediate public understanding of the innovations. Analyzing the linguistic, rhetorical, and affective aspects of these metaphors opens the range of issues available for bioethical scrutiny and increases public accountability. This article shows how such a multidisciplinary approach can be useful by looking at a set of texts about one issue, the use of a newly developed technique for genetic modification, CRISPRcas9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • genomic
  • germline modification
  • metaphor
  • public engagement
  • rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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