The conclusions of a January meeting of stakeholders in genome engineering were published this month in Science. The group called for research on the safety of using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. According to the stakeholders, understanding the technology’s risks is necessary before endorsing its use in clinical testing, and they recommend several actions in the meantime. The group called for germline or heritable modification of genomes for clinical applications in humans to be discouraged, regardless of local regulations. It also encouraged forums for education on the technology, including its risks, applications, and associated ethical, legal and social implications. In addition, the group recommended supporting research on CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing for model systems and humans, with regard to its prospects for germline gene therapy. Finally, the stakeholders called for a multidisciplinary group of representatives from around the world, with expertise in areas relevant to gene editing, to recommend policies.

Source: Science

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