Why Nobel laureate David Baltimore doesn’t support moratorium on CRISPR babies

4-3-2019 maxresdefault
Image: CalTech

Some scientists have recently proposed a temporary moratorium on editing that would result in babies that carry heritable changes.

Science News talked with Nobel laureate David Baltimore, who is president emeritus of Caltech, about the ongoing debate. Baltimore, a virologist and immunologist, chaired two international summits on human gene editing. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

SN: You’ve come out in the past as not being in favor of a moratorium. Why?

Baltimore: It’s largely a semantic issue. Statements made after the first summit and the second summit have avoided using the term moratorium. Consciously. Because that word has been associated with very firm rules about what you can do and what you can’t do.

Related article:  EU has 'no plans' to revise its strict regulations on gene-edited crops, European Commission official says

With a science that’s moving forward as rapidly as this science is, you want to be able to adapt to new discoveries, new opportunities and new understandings. To make rules is probably not a good idea.

What’s a good idea is to be on top of a changing environment and to adjust to it as time goes by. And that’s both an ethical environment and a practical environment of the mechanics of gene editing.

Read full, original post: A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend