A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification

Science  03 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6230, pp. 36-38
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1028

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Genome engineering technology offers unparalleled potential for modifying human and nonhuman genomes. In humans, it holds the promise of curing genetic disease, while in other organisms it provides methods to reshape the biosphere for the benefit of the environment and human societies. However, with such enormous opportunities come unknown risks to human health and well-being. In January, a group of interested stakeholders met in Napa, California (1), to discuss the scientific, medical, legal, and ethical implications of these new prospects for genome biology. The goal was to initiate an informed discussion of the uses of genome engineering technology, and to identify those areas where action is essential to prepare for future developments. The meeting identified immediate steps to take toward ensuring that the application of genome engineering technology is performed safely and ethically.

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