Canadian researchers can’t use CRISPR in human embryo research

| | November 27, 2017
c crispr cas gene editing complex illustration spl
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In the United States, using genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR to make genetic alterations that can be passed on to future generations is illegal, but scientists are still allowed to conduct experiments that include genetically altering embryos, so long as those embryos never have the chance to become babies.

In Canada, though, even basic research that might be categorized as “germline editing” risks a hefty fine or up to 10 years in prison. Now Canadian scientists and ethicists have joined forces to speak out against the prohibition and its damaging impact on Canadian science.

Standing in the way of Canadian scientists is a section of Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act, a set of laws forged in the aftermath of advancements in stem cell research, the Human Genome Project and Dolly the Sheep, as the public worried about scenarios like human cloning. The law makes it a criminal act to alter the genome of a cell or embryo in such a way that the change might be transmitted to descendants.

Allowing germline editing even just for research though, would likely require an act of Parliament to change Canadian federal law. A statement from Canada’s health ministry, though, might allow a reinterpretation of the existing law that could pave the way for Canadian scientists to do some CRISPR research in embryos.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: This Outdated Law Makes CRISPR Illegal in Canada – and That’s Hurting Science

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend