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.

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.

God in a kit: the perils and possibilities of a tool called CRISPR

Alex Kelly, BioFoundry’s 26-year-old lab manager, compares biotech to the birth of the computer, once cloistered in big corporations, now at everyone’s fingertips. Upskill the people in biotech, Kelly believes, and you’ll get disruption writ large, with a potentially massive payoff for the most disadvantaged.

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.

Editing Biosecurity

This study highlights the changing safety and security landscape engendered by the emergence of new genome editing technologies, helps policy-makers and other stakeholders navigate this space, and illuminates broader trends in the life sciences that may impact the biosecurity landscape.