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Japan BANS implanting gene edited human embryos in preemptive crackdown on the ‘designer baby’ craze

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Daily Mail
December 6, 2019

This week, Japan’s health ministry recommended a ban on implanting genetically modified human embryos, warning that such procedures could lead to a market for ‘designer babies.’

The recommendation was issued by an expert panel, which said that allowing gene-edited embryos to move forward in gestation posed serious health risks for both the infant and potential future generations.

The panel did not oppose ongoing research into gene-editing human embryos for potential insights into hereditary diseases and other health concerns, but limited its concerns to allowing any of these gene-edited embryos to be implanted into a uterus.

The Japanese government originally moved to allow genome editing of human embryos in 2018.

The most common method of gene editing is CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Inter-Spaced Palindromic Repeats.

It makes use of an enzyme derived from bacteria that can cut through a DNA strand at a specific location, creating an opening where a new segments can be fused in place.

Using genome editing on human embryos is currently outlawed in France, Germany, and Britain.

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This article was posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5:16 am

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