Gene-Editing Of Human Embryos ‘Irresponsible,’ Ethical Advisory Panel Says As It Recommends WHO Create Global Registry
The World Health Organization formed the panel following the controversial work of a Chinese scientist who announced after the fact that he'd gene-edited human embryos. The committee said a registry would help with transparency and tracking of such ethically precarious research. It also said that over the next two years, it will develop recommendations for a “comprehensive governance framework” to help prevent rogue uses of genome editing.
The Associated Press:
UN: Gene Editing For Human Reproduction Is 'Irresponsible'
A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it would be "irresponsible" for scientists to use gene editing for reproductive purposes, but stopped short of calling for a ban. The experts also called for the U.N. health agency to create a database of scientists working on gene editing. The recommendation was announced Tuesday after a two-day meeting in Geneva to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges of such research. (Keaton and Cheng, 3/19)
The New York Times:
W.H.O. Panel Demands A Registry For Human Gene Editing
The committee was created in the wake of the birth of the first gene-edited babies — the result of an experiment by a Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, who genetically altered human embryos and implanted them in a woman who gave birth to twins last fall. His actions stirred alarm among other researchers, ethicists and policymakers, because so little is known about the safety and health effects of editing the genome of a human embryo. Many fear that the technology could be misused to create “designer babies” genetically altered to heighten physical features, intelligence or athletic prowess. (Belluck, 3/19)