In DepthBiomedicine

A yellow light for embryo editing

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Science  17 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6326, pp. 675
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6326.675-b

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Summary

Editing the DNA of a human embryo could be ethically allowable in limited circumstances, says a report released this week by a committee convened by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Such experiments "might be permitted, but only following much more research" on risks and benefits, and "only for compelling reasons and under strict oversight," the group concludes. Those situations could be limited to couples who both have a serious genetic disease and for whom embryo editing is only option for having a healthy biological child. Some researchers are pleased, saying the report is consistent with previous conclusions that altering the DNA of human eggs, sperm, or early embryos—known as germline editing—could be permissible. But others see the report as lowering the bar for embryo editing.

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