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Genome editing tools such as CRISPR are beginning to reshape the physical world around us, one base pair at a time. As an Artist in Residence in labs at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and at STATE Studio, Emilia Tikka explored how this could affect society in the future and created the exhibition “AEON - Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR”. 

On November 1st, she presented the results of her residency, an artwork called “AEON - Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR” at the new Science Art Gallery STATE Studio in Berlin.

Tikka's art is designed to spark debate. Prominent scientists from the MDC will join her and provide even more food for thought. In three short keynotes Dr. Roland Schwarz (MDC Group Leader “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics”), Dr. Sascha Sauer (Head of the MDC Scientific Genomics Platforms), and Professor Simone Spuler (University Outpatient Clinic for Muscle Disorders, Experimental and Clinical Research Center at the MDC) will speak about their own quest to find and understand patterns in the human genome that are relevant to health and disease, and even their plans to edit genes in order to help patients.

Together with renowned bioethicist Professor Jens Reich (MDC) they discussed how far along we are on our way from understanding the genome to tinkering with it – and what the future might hold. The panel was moderated by Dr. Luiza Bengtsson.  

For more information about the exhibition “AEON - Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR” see the State Studio website.

Emilia Tikka is a designer, artist, and filmmaker – originally from Finland and currently based in Berlin as the artist in residence at the CRISPR Laboratory of the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) & STATE. Her interdisciplinary design and research practice explore philosophical dimensions and cultural implications of novel biotechnologies such as synthetic biology and gene editing technology CRISPR-cas9. Her methods of research vary from designing objects, constellations, concepts, and fictions to writing and hands-on laboratory experiments.

The artist residency was funded by the EU ORION Open Science Project in partnership with The State Festival and the Max-Delbrück-Centre for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association