When tinkering with our DNA, researchers should take it slow

The manipulation of human genes could lead to profound advances in our ability to cure or prevent terrible diseases. But in some cases, it might also mean introducing genetic material that could be passed from one generation to the next, changing the human gene pool in a manner that could inadvertently harm peoples’ health.

Such “inheritable” DNA is a hotly debated issue among bioethicists, and one that an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration will review Tuesday and Wednesday as it considers whether human trials should be allowed for a new therapy that could prevent a rare but devastating inherited disorder.

It seems far too early for the FDA to even consider allowing human trials. But it should encourage researchers to continue exploring the keys that might unlock gene-based cures.

Read the full, original story: When tinkering with our DNA, researchers should take it slow

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