Leaders of an international summit on gene editing have agreed that human gene editing research needs to happen and should be done, so long as no pregnancies result from gene editing conducted on embryos. You know what that means!
We’ve spoken a few times about the different techniques used to edit genes and their critical reception from scientist around the world, but these tools have now become so cheap and easy to use that they could be able to correct genetic diseases. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom’s Royal Society got together to discuss gene editing in addition to the ethical, legal and regulatory issues surrounding gene editing technology.
Sangamo BioSciences announced announced that clinical trials using gene editing to cure adult hemophiliacs might begin in 2016 and this research would fall under current regulations for gene therapy, according to the International Summit.
There are a host of moral, ethical and safety concerns regarding clinical studies in germline cells, but the Summit has said that this research isn’t off limits so long as the edited embryos aren’t implanted in the uterus for reproductive purposes.
This is a massive step forward for the scientific community and it’ll be exciting to see just what comes of this research…