Is China overstepping ethical boundaries with its biotech research?

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The first and only published papers to describe genome modification in human embryos have come from Chinese laboratories. For some, this is another signal of China’s successful transformation from a closed society focused on farming and the manufacturing of commodities to a world leader in innovation. For others, these studies are the latest in a list of feats reported over the past decade that reflect the country’s lax regulation or cultural indifference to fundamental ethical tensions.

However, fears that China’s scientific ambitions are overwhelming its ability to exercise appropriate caution in the life sciences are overblown. In fact, China has shown care and restraint with respect to altering the genomes of human eggs, sperm or embryos, and in the use of human embryos in research more broadly.

Major challenges lie ahead, particularly in the commercial application of biotechnology. But as international standards evolve to keep pace with rapid advances in research, China should be encouraged to take its place as a fellow pioneer alongside longer-established research superpowers— both in the laboratory and in regulation.

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Read full, original post: Bioethics in China: No wild east

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