Opponents of human germline editing hae argued that changing the human gene pool could have unforeseen and irreversible consequences.
The evolution of the science of GMOs, and how that translated into practical application by the large agrochemical companies, influences how society thinks about modern gene editing technology.
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of intentional genomic alterations in animals includes an evaluation of safety and effectiveness, with a particular focus on animal and food safety, and is based on risk.
Gene editing gives researchers a fast, reliable way to make precise changes in specific genes. But its use in farming is in the balance after a European ruling last year equated it with heavily regulated genetic modification.
A World Health Organization (WHO) advisory committee on editing human DNA will ask the United Nations agency to establish a global registry of all such research, recommend that editors of scientific journals not publish any unregistered studies, and ask science funders to require that their grantees register their studies.
Eighteen scientists from seven countries have called for “a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing” — that is, changing DNA in sperm, eggs, or early embryos to make genetically altered children, alterations that would be passed on to future generations.
In the wake of CRISPR babies, there is an urgent need to better regulate and debate whether, when and how related research should be done.
The federal government has a short list of regulated organisms. But the government’s ban focuses on the organisms themselves, rather than the genetic instructions for making them. Because the government has not published those sequences, the companies must decide for themselves whether a mail order request is potentially dangerous.
Variations of the genome editor CRISPR have wowed biology labs around the world over the past few years because they can precisely change single DNA bases. But such “base editors” can have a serious weakness. A pair of studies published this week shows that one kind of base editor causes many unwanted—and potentially dangerous— “off-target” genetic changes.
China is tightening rules on gene-editing, after a Chinese scientist prompted a global outcry by claiming that he had edited the genes of a pair of newborn twins. In a draft regulation released this week, China’s National Health Commission proposed a stringent approval process for biomedical research and heavy penalties for scientists who evade oversight.