Why we can’t do anything about a Russian scientist’s plans to create more CRISPR babies

| | June 26, 2019
crispr babies
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Two influential leaders in science for the first time publicly condemned a Russian biologist who said he plans to produce gene-edited babies but conceded that it was beyond their organizations’ authority to halt him from doing so.

In separate interviews with STAT over the weekend, Margaret Hamburg, co-chair of an international advisory committee on human genome-editing, and Victor Dzau, president of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, said they were deeply concerned by the plans.

[Denis] Rebrikov, a molecular biologist in Moscow, said he was considering implanting gene-edited embryos into women as soon as this year, if he could get approval from the Russian government. He said he would edit a gene called CCR5 in hopes of protecting any offspring against HIV infection.

Rebrikov defended his plans in a broadcast interview with NPR last week, saying, “How it can be unethical if we will make [a] healthy baby instead of diseased?”

[Hamburg] said she hoped that the Russia case “underscores the importance of really trying to create a global governance framework, really trying to engage the scientific community in terms of its responsibility to step up to the plate.’’ 

Read full, original post: Alarmed by new ‘CRISPR babies’ plan, top science figures say they’re powerless to stop it

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