Editing Genes To Change Human Traits Is A Tall Order : Shots - Health News : NPR
Subscriber Account active since. For the past three days, scientists, bioethicists, and other stakeholders at an international summit in Washington, D. They discussed the technique's enormous potential to cure genetic diseases and expand our understanding of human biology, as well as the safety risks and ethical hazards of modifying the human "germline" — the genetic blueprint that will be passed on to future generations. At the conclusion of the summit, Committee Chair David Baltimore of the California Institute of Technology read a statement summarizing the committee's position on the use of gene editing in humans, which said the following:. In April, Chinese researchers announced they had used CRISPR to modify human embryos in order to cure a fatal blood disorder known as beta thalassemia. The embryos were not viable, meaning they could not survive to birth, but it could be a preview of what's to come.
There are really good reasons why we should — and shouldn't — genetically engineer human embryos
C omfortably seated in the fertility clinic with Vivaldi playing softly in the background, you and your partner are brought coffee and a folder. Inside the folder is an embryo menu. Each embryo has a description, something like this:. Embryo 78 — male No serious early onset diseases, but a carrier for phenylketonuria a metabolic malfunction that can cause behavioural and mental disorders. Higher than average risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. The genetics revolution that will transform our health care, the way we make babies, the nature of the babies we make, and ultimately our evolutionary trajectory as a species has already begun.