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