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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsThe CRISPR-baby scandal: what’s next for human gene-editing – Nature (David Cyranoski | February 2019)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The CRISPR-baby scandal: what’s next for human gene-editing – Nature (David Cyranoski | February 2019)

 


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As concerns surge after a bombshell revelation, here are four questions about this fast-moving field.

In the three months since He Jiankui announced the birth of twin girls with edited genomes, the questions facing the scientific community have grown knottier.

By engineering mutations into human embryos, which were then used to produce babies, He leapt capriciously into an era in which science could rewrite the gene pool of future generations by altering the human germ line. He also flouted established norms for safety and human protections along the way.

There is still no definitive evidence that the biophysicist actually succeeded in modifying the girls’ genes — or those of a third child expected to be born later this year. But the experiments have attracted so much attention that the incident could alter research for years to come.

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