RAC Confronts in Utero Gene Therapy Proposals

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Science  02 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5386, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5386.27

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A National Institutes of Health advisory committee last week began what could be a long debate over whether to permit the next step in gene therapy: correcting genetic defects in a fetus before birth. Researchers say they may be ready to attempt such an experiment in 2 or 3 years, but fetal gene therapy carries potential new risks and ethical implications--including the possibility that transplanted genes could end up in sperm or egg (germ) cells and be passed on to future generations.