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.
Mankind’s newfound ability to edit germline codes will soon be widely available. We will also be able to extend the palette of naturally available amino acids for molecular assembly. The US needs a policy framework that defines and addresses the five key decisions that will determine whether we can leverage the benefits and simultaneously defend against attacks.