The second-most shocking thing He Jiankui told the international genome editing summit in Hong Kong last November — right after announcing that twin girls had been born from embryos whose DNA he’d changed with CRISPR — was that he’d followed guidelines on embryo editing set forth by a panel of leading U.S. scientists and ethicists.
That committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine basically said, in 2017: If society agrees this is OK, proceed with extreme caution. He claimed he had checked all the panel’s boxes, meeting a long list of criteria that include editing only genes “convincingly demonstrated” to cause the disease, conducting “credible” animal studies first, and having “reliable oversight mechanisms.”
Whether he honestly believes that, or is just claiming to as a way of spreading around the blame for a dangerous, unethical experiment, is anyone’s guess. But his statement horrified virtually everyone — and no one more than members of that 2017 committee.
It is too late now the cat is out of the bag. They are already marketing CRISPR in foreign nations with even fewer regulations than the US. Clever content marketing are selling home CRSPR kits too, there is a sucker born every minute. The US used to have laws and regulations about physician content marketing, and exploiting sick people. Thanks to the massive corruption by huge healthcare corporations, and misleading media coverage, this will be available to anyone with the money, and stupid enough.
This International Commission (or ICCUHGGE (this acronym itself is almost a DNA sequence) is highly needed to set guidelines and limits that need to be adhered to and enforced on a global scale. I had believed this was an on-going process since 2017, but apparently the complexities are now being revisited. This much-encompassing deep-dive exercise is detrimental to avoid rogue scientists’ dangerous meddling in human genetics with inheritable alterations …..
Comments are closed.