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National academies move to design regulations on germline editing

The GLP curated this excerpt as part of a daily selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

The National Academies of Science (NAS) and National Academies of Medicine (NAM) have their work cut out for them as they begin hashing out under what circumstances, if any, should researchers carry out germline editing of human genomes. NAS and NAM said earlier this month they will develop recommendations for researchers on the thorny issue, through an initiative that will include an international summit set for this fall, an international committee, and an advisory panel to guide the work. The summit will “convene researchers and other experts to explore the scientific, ethical, and policy issues associated with human gene-editing research,” the academies said in a statement, while the committee will be empaneled to “begin a comprehensive study of the scientific underpinnings and clinical, ethical, legal, and social implications of human gene editing.”

The committee’s task will be no less than to decide: Who should prevail among researchers when it comes to germline genome editing? In a commentary published March 26 in Nature, Edward Lanphier, president and CEO of Sangamo BioSciences, and four colleagues called for a voluntary moratorium on the practice. During the pause, they argued, scientists and others should “consider the scientific and ethical consequences of genetically modifying the human germ line” before deciding whether, and if so how, to proceed: “Such discussions must include the public as well as experts and academics.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Academies Wrestle with Germline Editing

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