In Britain, a government agency has given permission for a researcher to use a powerful new gene editing technique on human embryos. Altering human embryos will take place at the Francis Crick Institute in London, but according to an article in the New York Times it will not be applied to the creation of genetically modified humans. According to the Times, in December leading scientific academies of the United States, Britain and China issued a joint statement about researchers around the world holding off "on altering human inheritance."
At the Francis Crick Institute there is no intention of implanting the altered embryos in a womb. The goal of the current research is to understand "the cascade of genetic switches that are thrown as the fertilized egg progresses through its first few divisions." The goal is better knowledge of the basic biology of human development.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.