New genetic ‘editing’ technique raises the specter of human enhancement

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It’s got Nobel Prize written all over it. The scientific innovation, CRISPR, which enables accurate ‘editing’ of DNA (compared to current techniques where a viral vector introduces the DNA at random), has had one team member “jumping out of my skin with excitement”. Still at basic science level, it has already been hailed as a potential new treatment for Huntington’s Disease, HIV and other disorders.

For some, this technique will be irresistible. It will remove the ethical arguments against PGD which inevitably discards embryos because of one faulty gene. Doctors could produce one embryo and correct its genetic defects, if it has one. For pro-lifers, this would avoid the need to produce excess embryos, inevitably discarding some.

Read the full, original story here: Ethics of Editing the Book of Life

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