Viewpoint: In the face a gene-editing revolution, President Trump should push for moratorium on human germline editing

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Image: MIT

In the face of the rapid development of the most powerful technologies ever invented — CRISPR germline gene editing, “artificial life,” “3-parent” embryos, cloning, etc.–President Trump has been derelict. He hasn’t uttered a single word about whether or how these epochal biotechnologies should be regulated internationally to allow us the best chance of garnering their great benefits, while also limiting the potential for catastrophe.

The highest administration member speaking out on this issue, of whom I am aware, has been NIH Director, Francis Collins. He just published a call in Discover magazine for a five-year moratorium on human germline genetic engineering, that is, making gene changes in human babies that will flow down the generations.

Related article:  Scientific, social and ethical barriers must be overcome before the world is ready for CRISPR babies, researchers say

Ponder the potentials. Germline gene editing “could change the human species forever.”


President Trump needs a new agenda to run on for a second term. This issue should be part of it. He should argue for a moratorium in his State of the Union. Love him or hate him, Trump’s words are listened to around the world. Such a mention would at least get people talking about the question.

Read full, original post: NIH Director’s Call for Human Genetic Engineering Moratorium Is Not Enough

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