World Health Organization advisers call for registry of studies on human genome editing

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.

Leading scientists, backed by NIH, call for a global moratorium on creating ‘CRISPR babies’

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.

Unleashing terror? How to catch deadly mail-order DNA

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.

CRISPR offshoot still makes mistakes editing DNA, raising concerns about its medical use

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 wants to rein in its rogue gene-editing scientists

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.