Bioethics News

U.S. Science Advisors Outline Path to Genetically Modified Babies

February 14, 2017

(Scientific American) – Scientists should be permitted to modify human embryos destined for implantation in the womb to eliminate devastating genetic diseases such as sickle-cell anaemia or cystic fibrosis — once gene-editing techniques advance sufficiently for use in people and proper restrictions are in place. That’s the conclusion of a February 14 report from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The 261-page document follows a 2015 National Academies summit that brought together scientists, ethicists, legal experts and patient groups from around the world. Meeting organizers wanted to survey concerns about human germline editing: genetic modifications to embryos, sperm or egg cells that can be passed on to offspring.

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