Scientists call to suspend inherited human genome editing

Scientists call to suspend inherited human genome editing

If we are going to view certain applications of human genome editing as permissible, can we draw a line?

An international group of scientists is calling for a moratorium on making inheritable changes to the human genome, specifically the use of the Crisper-Cas9 technique on DNA.

The group met in Washington Thursday.

It would be “irresponsible to proceed,” the group said; stating the need for a better risk assessment and a “broad societal consensus about the appropriateness” of these changes, The New York Times reported.

David Baltimore, former president of California Institute of Technology, helped organize the group, which consisted of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., the Institute of Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London.

Together they have no regulatory power, but their opinion holds weight with the rest of scientists in the majority, if not all, countries.

It’s not to say that this type of genome work couldn’t proceed in the future as the breadth of knowledge increases. In fact, the group believes the topic should be routinely revisited.

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