Washington Post Editorial Highlights Ethical Challenges, Promise Of Gene Editing
Washington Post: A stunning claim in China highlights the perils and promise of gene editing
“The claim on Monday by a Chinese scientist that he successfully edited the genetic makeup of a human embryo followed by live births is a moment for serious worry. Rapid advances in gene editing have been pointing toward this for a few years. If confirmed, the research must trigger a fresh reexamination of the procedures for research that could alter the basic blueprint of humankind. Vigilance, transparency, and oversight are vital bulwarks against dangerous research, and this experiment appears to have skirted them all. … The extraordinary promise of CRISPR is that genetic material can be modified to prevent or eliminate disease. But if the changes become heritable, they could have serious and unpredictable consequences through future generations. … In the end, this wonderful new technology must be supervised, regulated, and carried out for the good of humanity, without mistakes, malicious intent, or runaway experiments” (11/28).