News of the WeekGene Therapy

Panel Reviews Risks of Germ Line Changes

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Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2268-2269
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5550.2268b

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A high-profile experiment using gene therapy to treat hemophilia B has been on hold for 3 months because of concerns that it might alter the inheritable, or "germ line," DNA of patients in the trial. Last week, those concerns got their first public airing at a meeting of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health. The session did not yield a clear decision, but several panel members indicated that they thought the research should be allowed to resume.