Washington Post editorial: We have an ‘urgent need’ for international rules on gene-edited babies

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Image: New York Times/Lily Padula

WHEN CHINESE scientist He Jiankui announced last November his experiments making heritable genetic changes in human embryos followed by live births of twins, alarms went off. What shocked many scientists and others was how Mr. He used new technology for gene editing without serious oversight or transparency… . One good thing came out of this: Mr. He spurred a more deliberate, international effort to answer the hard questions. Now that effort must lead to stricter regulation.

Fortunately, the right organizations are now in motion. The U.S. National Academies and the British Royal Society have launched an international commission. The World Health Organization has created an advisory committee, too. … The goal must be a framework that will enable genuine scientific advancement but avoid reckless fiddling with the source code of life. It is a tall order — and an urgent need.

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Read full, original post: We have the technology to customize our babies. It needs regulation.

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