Intensifying dialogue on human germline gene editing

human egg edit, CRISPR
My vision of CRISPR gene-edited human egg at fertilization.

The field recently saw Lanphier, et al. in Nature calling for a moratorium on human germilne CRISPR genetic modification.

A number of additional stakeholders are expected to be weighing in soon on the issue of human germline gene editing.

For example, a Science paper from others in the gene editing community is anticipated soon and may well have somewhat different perspectives.

I’ve been polling on this issue and there seems to be rather broad, international support for some kind of moratorium.

Respectful, open and diverse dialogue will prove crucial to formulating a wise approach to human germline modification.

1 thought on “Intensifying dialogue on human germline gene editing”

  1. The Asilomar Conference on recombinant DNA in 1975 called on scientists to have a sense of professional responsibility and voluntarily follow guidelines that would ensure that recombinant bacteria were safe. I think this could happen again- Paul Berg led the Asilomar meeting.

    But there are so many scientists who are capable of germ line engineering now that IVF has become so accessible – we already know that some would do it just for the recognition. I think this has to be used as an opportunity to educate the public, just as the Asilomar conference was. Being open about the issues will also help scientists to understand that we have an obligation not to do something just because it’s possible.

    I hope I can get an invitation to such a meeting- I’m one of the people who has all the tools to do germ line editing, and I’ve been involved in bioethics, stem cells, and genetic engineering for many years…just my brief resume!

Comments are closed.