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Next week, hundreds of scientists from around the world will convene in London for an international summit on genome editing. That technology, which enables scientists to easily excise, alter, or replace specific sections of DNA, was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

But the last time an event like this took place, in November 2018, carefully planned discussions about how it might be responsibly harnessed to treat genetic diseases were derailed by news that a team of researchers in China claimed to have already crossed a bright-red scientific rubicon — they’d used it to create the world’s first gene-edited children.

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