World Bulletin / News Desk
Genetically engineered babies should be allowed in the future when the technology becomes available, according to a report released by a committee comprised of 21 leading scientists.
However, human gene editing must be restricted to only preventing diseases or disabilities in babies, the panel argued. The policy group behind the 261 page report published Tuesday was put together by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.
Essentially, the group contends that gene-editing using new technologies could be allowed in human embryos, eggs and sperm, but not to create “designer” children.
“Human genome editing holds tremendous promise for understanding, treating, or preventing many devastating genetic diseases, and for improving treatment of many other illnesses,” Alta Charo, co-chair of the study committee and a bioethicist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a statement.
“However, genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people."
Regulations on studying gene editing need to be especially stringent for changes to “germline” genes, i.e. genes that are inherited from parents to children. Studies of multiple generations would have to be conducted in order to fully understand the implications of editing germline genes.
A global prohibition on human gene editing is not practical, the scientists concede, when access to CRISPR gene editing tools have become so cheap in the past two years. Scientists in China, for example, are already using the technology on human cells.
“Genome editing research is very much an international endeavor, and all nations should ensure that any potential clinical applications reflect societal values and be subject to appropriate oversight and regulation," said committee co-chairs Richard Hynes, of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Daniel K. Ludwig, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a joint statement.
"These overarching principles and the responsibilities that flow from them should be reflected in each nation's scientific community and regulatory processes.”
Seven firms to receive ecolabel certifying that their products are environment-friendly
Disasters saddle U.S. with $306 billion price tag, cause 362 deaths
Association for Prevention of Drug Abuse head says close to more than 2.5 million children are drug addicts in Bangladesh
King penguins are certainly accustomed to chilly weather, more so than species like the Humboldt that prefer somewhat warmer climes, said zoo curator Malu Celli.
Some eight million children and teenagers across the Southeast Asian nation will receive the shot to prevent further spread of the disease which is caused by a bacterial infection.
Two players vomited on the pitch, and play had to be halted briefly.
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced Wednesday that its world-first dengue vaccine could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected.
Doctors Worldwide Turkey says it has performed 3,000 cataract surgeries in Horn of Africa country
Over 40,000 cases of cholera seen in Democratic Republic of Congo since July, says Health Ministry
Decked out in red to signify their "Stop Coal" campaign, the protesters chanted and beat drums as they snaked through the former West Germany capital toward the UN centre that will host the 12-day, 196-nation talks, tasked with implementing the landmark Paris Agreement.
The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency's annual flagship report, tracks the continent of dangerous gasses in atmosphere in the post-industrial era (since 1750).
£10 ($13) tax introduced to cut British capital's poor air-pollution records
Despite all-out efforts to give the Chinese Communist Party blue skies for its twice-a-decade congress, Beijing's notorious smog has cloaked the mega-city in its trademark toxic haze.
Equipment donation to children's oncology institute is first project of state-run aid agency TIKA in Brazil
Some 450 other suspected cases seen in island nation; president says health workers are able to contain epidemic
UN says 900,000 doses of oral vaccine are to be given to Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar