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About Inheritable Genetic Modification


The Basic Science

Human Germline Gene Editing

Frequently Asked Questions

Arguments Pro & Con

3-Person IVF

Inheritable genetic modification (IGM, also called germline engineering) means changing the genes passed on to future generations. The genetic changes would be made in eggs, sperm or early embryos; modified genes would appear not only in the person who developed from that gamete or embryo, but also in all succeeding generations. IGM has not been tried in humans. It would be by far the most consequential type of genetic modification as it would open the door to irreversibly altering the human species.

Proposals for inheritable genetic modification in humans combine techniques involving in vitro fertilization (IVF), gene transfer, stem cells and research cloning.



The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight over Biotech's Big Breakthrough by Stephen S. HallScientific AmericanFebruary 4th, 2016The gene-editing technology known as CRISPR has spawned an increasingly unseemly brawl over who will reap the rewards.
A Cautious Approach to Mitochondrial Replacementby Françoise BaylisImpact EthicsFebruary 3rd, 2016While the motivation with mitochondrial replacement (MRT) is distinct from cloning, the transfer technology is the same. MRT can legitimately be seen as a “quiet way station” in which to refine the techniques essential for other genetic interventions (including cloning).
Three-parent DNA treatment for rare defect raises debate [with video][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]PBS NewshourFebruary 3rd, 2016PBS's William Brangham discusses germline mitochondrial manipulations with Jeffrey Kahn and Marcy Darnovsky.
Babies With Genes From 3 People Could Be Ethical, Panel Says [with audio] [cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Rob SteinNPRFebruary 3rd, 2016"People are talking about going forward not just with this, but with the kind of genetic engineering that will produce outright genetically modified human beings."
Three-parent DNA treatment for rare defect raises debate on PBS Newshour
[Video]
[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]February 3rd, 2016Go ahead given to technology that would replace original mitochondria in either the mother’s egg or in the parents’ embryo with healthy mitochondria from a third person. A child born this way would then be carrying the DNA of three different people.
Center for Genetics and Society Comments on Just-Released Report on Germline Mitochondrial Manipulations[Press statement]February 3rd, 2016The National Academy of Medicine's report conclusion – that no ethical or policy considerations stand in the way of clinical investigations going forward – seems at odds with the many cautions, risks, and concerns that it raises.
Britian has jumped the gun on gene editing by Donna DickensonTelegraph [UK]February 2nd, 2016Particularly where the germline of humanity as a whole is concerned, caution and cooperation should prevail.
We Are Not Ready to Edit Human Embryos Yetby J. Craig VenterTimeFebruary 2nd, 2016Due to our insufficient knowledge, the slippery slope to human enhancement, and the global ban on human experimentation, we need to better understand the software of life before we begin re-writing this code.
Debating UK approval of gene editing in human embryos
[MP3]
[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]February 1st, 2016The decision by Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority marks the first time a country's national regulator has approved the technique.
Video Review: Talking Biopolitics – A conversation with Paul Knoepfler and Nathaniel Comfortby Dr. Rebecca DimondBioNewsFebruary 1st, 2016"The discussion was timely, following the passing of legislation on mitochondrial donation in the UK in 2015, and amid current debates about gene-editing technologies, such as CRISPR."
U.K. Scientists Given OK to Use ‘Gene Editing’ on Human Embryos[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by David MillsHealthlineFebruary 1st, 2016The experiments raise raised concerns over the possibility that “designer babies” will eventually be produced by using gene editing to alter the DNA of embryos.
Britain approves controversial gene-editing experiments[cites CGS’s Marcy Darnovsky]by Maria ChengAssociated PressFebruary 1st, 2016"This is the first step on a path that scientists have carefully mapped out towards the legalization" of genetically modified babies, said David King of Human Genetics Alert.
Center for Genetics and Society statement on UK approval of Gene Editing research using Human Embryos[Press statement]February 1st, 2016“Is today's decision part of a strategy to overturn the widespread agreement that puts genetically modified humans off limits?”
A Monkey Circles in a Cageby Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 29th, 2016Researchers created transgenic monkeys with a gene duplication associated with Rett Syndrome autism in humans, raising concerns of the limits and ethics of using animal models in biomedical research.
Who's Looking to Profit from Human Germline Changes?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJanuary 28th, 2016Billionaire Randal Kirk has assembled the components to commercialize heritable human genetic modification.
Human Genetic Alteration and Gold Mines: California's Stem Cell Agency Takes a Hard Look at Research Standardsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJanuary 27th, 2016The $3 billion California stem cell agency will convene a livestreamed day-long meeting to examine agency policies dealing with human gene editing.
Will creating monkeys with autism-like symptoms be any use?by Sam WongNew ScientistJanuary 25th, 2016Researchers are divided on whether a condition like autism can be meaningfully reproduced in monkeys.
The Battle Over CRISPR Could Make Or Break Some Biotech Companies[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Farai ChideyaFiveThirtyEightJanuary 25th, 2016CRISPR is caught up in public offerings and a patent dispute. If used to "edit" heritable traits, it could lead us into a world of genetic haves and have-nots.
Why Morphological Freedom Is a Fantasy: Your Body Isn't Just Your Own[cites CGS]by Sarah SloatInverseJanuary 21st, 2016Transhumanists claim complete freedom to modify their bodies, but that absolutist stance could endanger future generations.
Creativity Week: Playing God with CRISPR[cites CGS' Elliot Hosman]by Aubrey SandersBreakThru RadioJanuary 16th, 2016Elliot Hosman discusses one of the most profoundly consequential debates modern science has ever faced.
CRISPR Patent War: Billions at Stake for UC Berkeleyby Lindsey HoshawKQEDJanuary 15th, 2016Whoever gets the patent will set the terms for how the technology is used.
Are we one step closer to designer babies? Genetically-modified embryos could be made in British labs 'within months' if approved tomorrow by Fiona MacRaeThe Daily Mail [UK]January 13th, 2016A researcher has asked for permission to study how manipulating an embryo’s genes would affect the first week of its development.
The Third Rail of the CRISPR Moonshot: Minding the Germlineby Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 13th, 2016Millions of dollars are flowing to biotech companies developing gene-editing therapies. Fortunately, most are publicly denouncing germline applications.
False Inevitabilities and Irrational Exuberanceby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJanuary 8th, 2016In the aftermath on December’s gene editing summit, disquieting themes have emerged in some mainstream media and science blogs.
Who is Smart Enough to Decide how to Improve the Human Species?by Joel AchenbachThe Washington PostJanuary 5th, 2016Genetic engineering and molecular biology benefit from the digital revolution. This convergence is arguably one of the biggest stories in the world right now.
King for a Day? On What’s Wrong With Changing the World for the Better by Roland NadlerLaw and Biosciences BlogJanuary 4th, 2016"It’s not so much about ethics (as we usually envision it) as about political philosophy. I’d exhort us to be quicker to ask: who died and made you king?"
Historic CRISPR Patent Fight Primed To Become Head-To-Head Battleby Alex LashXconomyJanuary 4th, 2016A USPTO patent examiner recommends kicking Jennifer Doudna's application upstairs. The case will be decided under the old "first to invent" standard.
A startup that wants to start using a controversial gene-editing tool in people by 2017 just filed to go publicby Lydia RamseyBusiness InsiderJanuary 4th, 2016Editas Medicine, co-founded by Feng Zhang, is developing a CRISPR gene therapy for rare blindness with human trials planned for 2017.
'We Won't Make Frankensteins,' Cloning Giant Boyalife's CEO Saysby David Lom and Eric BaculinaoNBC NewsDecember 26th, 2015The head of a Chinese firm that is building the world's biggest animal cloning factory has vowed not to use the technology on people — for now, at least.
First GMO Corn, then Frankenfish, and Now — Get Ready for Designer Babies[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Janet PhelanActivist PostDecember 25th, 2015“The medical arguments are tenuous and the possible social consequences are grave” for modifying the human germline.
The Gene-Editing Tool on Every Drugmaker's Wish List This Yearby Caroline Chen and Doni BloomfieldBloombergDecember 23rd, 2015Complicating the race to apply CRISPR is a heated fight over who invented the approach and owns the right to use it, and how the industry will be regulated.
Biopolitical News of 2015by Elliot Hosman, Pete Shanks & Marcy Darnovsky, Biopolitical TimesDecember 22nd, 2015We highlight 2015’s breaking news stories about human biotech developments.
Bayer Forms Gene Editing Partnership with CRISPR Therapeuticsby Ludwig BurgerReutersDecember 21st, 2015Under the deal, the German drugmaker will pay for the joint venture's research over the next five years, 300 million euros in total.
We Can Design Our Descendants. But Should We?by Margaret SomervilleThe Globe and Mail [Canada]December 21st, 2015Ethically, we must place the future child at the centre of the decision-making. We must also protect society.
First Genetically Edited Cows Arrive at UC Davisby Edward OrtizSacramento BeeDecember 20th, 2015The two calves will never grow horns typical of their breed. Instead, they’ll always sport soft hair where hard mounds normally emerge.
Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2015by Elliot Hosman, Pete Shanks & Marcy Darnovsky, Biopolitical TimesDecember 20th, 2015Here are a few of our favorites blogs of 2015.
GM Insects and Moral Blackmailby  Jack Stilgoe and Sarah HartleyThe Guardian [UK]December 17th, 2015Scientists have raised concerns about extreme and potentially existential environmental and security risks, including the extinction of species and/or ecosystems.
[Letter to the Editor] Genetic Controlby Marcy DarnovskyThe New YorkerDecember 14th, 2015CRISPR is a potentially society-altering technology, and democratic engagement with its trajectory is crucial and pressing.
Church May Back GM Embryos to Cure Inherited Diseasesby Oliver MoodyThe TimesDecember 14th, 2015The Church of England could agree to the genetic modification of human embryos.
Weak Arguments For Modifying the Human Germlineby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 10th, 2015At the International Summit on Human Gene Editing, philosopher John Harris engaged in tired and absurd attempts to justify engineering future humans.
Livetweeting #GeneEditSummit: Democratized Debate or Segregated Conversations?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesDecember 10th, 2015Though #GeneEditSummit was trending on Twitter, inclusive public debate must be more robust than the livetweeting of insular stakeholder meetings.
Stem Cell Researcher to Reddit: "Ask Me Anything" on Human Genetic Modificationby Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesDecember 10th, 2015UC Davis researcher Paul Knoepfler fielded 100s of questions on the social and technical implications of genetically modifying human cells.
More Questions than Answers at Gene Editing Summit [cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Chloe PostonGenes to GenomesDecember 9th, 2015"Marcy Darnovsky reminded the room of the societal implications of germ line editing, warning that parents will want to choose traits that society values most."
Gene Editing: Hope, Hype, and Cautionby Daniel CallahanThe Hastings Center Bioethics ForumDecember 8th, 2015In the debate on germline gene editing, speculative harms are treated as fear mongering while speculative benefits are allowed to run wild.
Future proofingby Editorial BoardNatureDecember 8th, 2015Global discussions on human gene editing and climate change should not sidestep hard decisions on issues that will affect future generations.
About Us, Without Us: Inclusion in the Threat of Eradicationby Teresa Blankmeyer BurkeImpact EthicsDecember 8th, 2015Disability rights advocates are still excluded from conversations (such as the International Summit on Human Gene Editing) that involve the survival of our communities.
Should We Genetically Modify Our Children?by Jessica CussinsKennedy School ReviewDecember 7th, 2015We need the wisdom of historical, global, and social perspectives to help shape a world that is not merely concerned with what is possible, but also with what is beneficial.
Debate begins over ethics of genetic editing[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Michael CookBioEdgeDecember 5th, 2015Varying degrees of caution emerged at the Summit on Human Gene Editing.
Scientists urge caution on human gene editing[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera AmericaDecember 4th, 2015Ethical questions triggered three days of debate among the scientists, policymakers and ethicists from 20 countries at the Washington, DC summit.
The Human Germline Genome Editing Debateby Charis ThompsonImpact EthicsDecember 4th, 2015The range of views expressed at the International Summit on Human Gene Editing underscores the need for broader and more inclusive public discussion.
Human gene editing is a social and political matter, not just a scientific oneby Marcy DarnovskyThe GuardianDecember 4th, 2015The organizing committee kicked the can down the road, leaving the door open for gene editing for human reproduction.
Scientists Seek Moratorium on Edits to Human Genome That Could Be Inheritedby Nicholas WadeThe New York TimesDecember 3rd, 2015An international group of scientists called for what would, in effect, be a moratorium on making inheritable changes to the human genome.
Gene editing: Is era of designer humans getting closer?[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Fergus WalshBBCDecember 3rd, 2015A Brave New World of designer humans - although still a long way off - has moved a step closer as a result new gene editing techniques.
No designer babies, but summit calls for cautious research[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Lauran NeergaardAPDecember 3rd, 2015The organizing committee argued that gene editing tools are nowhere near ready to use for pregnancy, but that research on embryos can proceed as society continues to grapple with the ethical questions.
Gene Editing: How much justice delayed or denied?by Nicholas G. EvansImpact EthicsDecember 2nd, 2015A nuanced examination of John Harris’ claims against the "unacceptable risks to future generations" associated with gene editing in human reproduction.
The major concern about a powerful new gene-editing technique that most people don't want to talk aboutby Tanya LewisBusiness InsiderDecember 2nd, 2015There's a dark side to manipulating our genetics that few want to discuss: Eugenics, the racist practice of trying to "improve" the human race by controlling genetics and reproduction.
This Week, Top Geneticists Want to Decide If GMO Humans Are OK [cites CGS’ Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex PearlmanVICE MotherboardDecember 2nd, 2015Using gene editing tools for reproduction "would be a radical rupture with past human practices that could have irreversible and reverberating impact on society.”
Scientists, Ethicists Debate Future of Gene Editing[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Karen PallaritoHealthDayDecember 2nd, 2015Stakeholders weigh in on new genetic engineering tools which could "all too easily open the door to new forms of inequality and discrimination."
Genetically engineered children?by Marcy DarnovskyThe HillDecember 1st, 2015The powerful new gene editing tools now under consideration in D.C. could be used for scientific and medical breakthroughs, or misused to undermine human rights and human equality.
Le génie génétique face au risque eugéniste[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Corine LesnesLe MondeNovember 30th, 2015"Nous voulons être sûrs que la technologie soit utilisée pour traiter les maladies et non pour créer des surhommes."
Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos[cites CGS and consultant Pete Shanks]by Julie SteenhuysenReutersNovember 30th, 2015A group of U.S. scientists and activists call for a global ban on the use of new tools to edit the genes of human embryos or gametes for assisted reproduction.
US scientists urge ban on human genetic modification[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Ryan RifaiAl JazeeraNovember 30th, 2015A new report and sign-on statement argue that genetic modification of children and future generations could have irreversible effects on humanity.
We Need a Moratorium on Genetically Modifying Humansby Paul KnoepflerSlateNovember 30th, 2015The technology for potentially creating designer babies has progressed much faster than the deliberation of societal implications and permissible uses.
Extreme Genetic Engineering and the Human FutureReclaiming Emerging Biotechnologies for the Common GoodThe Center for Genetics and Society and Friends of the Earth examine the human applications of synthetic biology. This 50-page report challenges claims that this new set of genetic engineering techniques should be seen as "the future of manufacturing, engineering and medicine."
Center for Genetics and Society releases open letter and report calling for prohibitions on human germline engineering[Press statement]November 29th, 2015Scholars, health practitioners, scientists, public interest advocates, and others have signed a CGS-organized open letter calling for strengthened prohibitions against heritable human genetic modification.
Editing the Human GenomeBBC Newshour ExtraNovember 28th, 2015An hour-long radio broadcast with panelists Annalien Bredenoord, Robin Lovell-Badge, Marcy Darnovsky, and Michael Le Page, hosted by Owen Bennett Jones.
Future of human gene editing to be decided at landmark summit[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Ian SampleThe GuardianNovember 28th, 2015A "global discussion" will ask whether humans should rewrite the DNA of future generations.
Re-Watching 'Gattaca' at the Dawn of the Age of CRISPR and Genetic Editingby Yasmin TayagInverseNovember 23rd, 2015Now that its predictions are becoming true, Andrew Niccol's 1997 gene-engineered dystopia is especially uncomfortable.
First CRISPR Gene Drive in Mosquitoes Aims to Eradicate Malariaby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewNovember 23rd, 2015The scientific community is at odds over whether it is safe to release a "selfish" gene into the wild.
Open Letter Calls for Prohibition on Reproductive Human Germline Modificationby Center for Genetics and SocietyExperiments aimed at creating genetically modified humans are unneeded from a medical view, extremely risky to any resulting children, and profoundly dangerous from a social perspective. Now is the crucial moment for taking a clear public stand.
F.D.A. Takes Issue With the Term ‘Non-G.M.O.’by Stephanie StromThe New York TimesNovember 20th, 2015"They’re conflating a very new and novel technology with traditional types of breeding...It’s like saying an abacus is very much like a computer."
Scientists may soon be able to 'cut and paste' DNA to cure deadly diseases and design perfect babiesby Tanya LewisBusiness InsiderNovember 19th, 2015CRISPR gene editing tools are being proposed for a wide range of uses, many of which pose risks to ecological systems and human society.
CRISPR Gene Editing: Proofreaders and Undo Buttons, but Ever "Safe" Enough?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent trends include research reports of "spellcheck" and "undo" functions associated with CRISPR gene editing, and a shift toward greater caution about germline applications.
Gene Therapy: Comeback? Cost-Prohibitive?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent CRISPR news sometimes confuses germline modification - which should be put off limits - and gene therapy, which presents its own set of social and ethical risks to resolve before rushing to market.
Gene Manipulation In Human Embryos Provokes Ethical Questions: This controversial new research could have some serious, long-term societal implications. [Video][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]
Gene Manipulation In Human Embryos Provokes Ethical Questions[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Rahel GebreyesHuffPost LiveNovember 17th, 2015CGS's Marcy Darnovsky discusses the social implications of leveraging CRISPR gene editing tools to pursue enhanced children.
Better Babiesby Nathaniel ComfortAeonNovember 17th, 2015The long and peculiar history of the designer human, from Plato’s citizen breeders to Nobel sperm banks, and the latest iteration of human genetic perfectability: CRISPR gene editing.
Why FBI and the Pentagon are afraid of gene drivesby Sharon BegleyStat NewsNovember 12th, 2015Officials from DARPA to the United Nations bioweapons office are concerned about the potential of “gene drives” to alter evolution in ways scientists can’t imagine.
Gene therapies offer dramatic promise but shocking costsby Carolyn Y. Johnson & Brady DennisThe Washington PostNovember 11th, 2015Researchers have partially restored a patient's vision by targeting a gene associated with Leber's congenital amaurosis, but the treatment could cost $500,000 per eye.
The Risks of Assisting Evolutionby Elizabeth AlterThe New York TimesNovember 10th, 2015Crispr-Cas9 and gene drive allow us to bend evolution to our will, but will they spark an ecological catastrophe?
Eggs unlimitedby Jennifer Couzin-FrankelScienceNovember 6th, 2015OvaScience's fertility procedure appalls some reproductive biologists, and is currently not permitted in the US. But the company is marketing its treatment in Canada and some analysts are upbeat.
Should Human Stem Cells Be Used To Make Partly Human Chimeras?by Rob SteinNPRNovember 6th, 2015The NIH has declared a moratorium on research that puts human stem cells into nonhuman animal embryos.
Powerful 'Gene Drive' Can Quickly Change an Entire Speciesby Rob SteinNPRNovember 5th, 2015Scientists are creating insects genetically engineered to produce only certain types of offspring. Uncertainty about environmental effects is causing widespread and serious concern.
CRISPR Gene Editing to Be Tested on People by 2017, Says Editasby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewNovember 5th, 2015The test, to treat a rare form of blindness, would likely be the first to use CRISPR to directly edit the DNA of a person.
Everything you need to know about why CRISPR is such a hot technology[cites CGS]by Dominic BasultoThe Washington PostNovember 4th, 2015Venture capital is responding to the hype surrounding new genetic engineering tools, but many are concerned by the controversial proposition of genetically modifying new humans.
Would you edit your unborn child’s genes so they were successful?by Mairi LevittThe GuardianNovember 3rd, 2015A parent’s desire to do the best for their child could create problems.
'Modern twist' on fertility technique may offer hope for sterile menby Denis CampbellThe GuardianNovember 2nd, 2015Fourteen children have been born in a trial in Japan using immature sperm cells, injected into electrically stimulated eggs – a method banned in the UK since the 1990s.
Human Gene Editing Frequently Asked QuestionsOctober 29th, 2015Should we as a society condone the genetic modification of future human beings? Here we take on some common questions about gene editing the human germline.
Gene Editing and Eugenics (Opinions Vary)by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2015A recent commentary on the UK law allowing clinical use of mitochondrial replacement celebrates it as a benign form of eugenics. Is there such a thing?
NAS Human Gene Editing Meeting: Agenda & Public Participationby Paul KnoepflerThe NicheOctober 26th, 2015The National Academies have released a draft agenda for the upcoming summit on human gene editing.
Four Synthetic Biology Inventions That Flummox the Fedsby Kelly ServickScienceOctober 15th, 2015As researchers develop ways to genetically engineer living organisms, studies highlight the lack of clarity about which US regulatory agency would be charged with approval or oversight.
The CRISPR Germline Debate: Closed to the Public?by Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesOctober 15th, 2015Recent CRISPR media coverage focuses on hype rather than engaging the ethical and social implications of the groundbreaking technology—even as many call for public inclusion in the genome editing debate.
After Asilomarby EditorialNature NewsOctober 14th, 2015Scientist-led conferences are no longer the best way to resolve debates on controversial research, and scientists who wish to self-regulate ignore public outcry at their peril.
Where in the world could the first CRISPR baby be born?by Heidi LedfordNature NewsOctober 13th, 2015Nature surveys the legal landscape of 12 countries with well-funded biological research and finds variety of bans on human genome editing in research or reproduction.
Video Review: Talking Biopolitics[cites CGS and CGS fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Rebecca DimondBioNewsOctober 12th, 2015George Annas spoke with Lisa Ikemoto about his new book on genomic medicine and genetic testing.
UNESCO Calls for More Regulations on Genome Editing, DTC Genetic Testingby StaffGenomeWebOctober 6th, 2015The organization's International Bioethics Committee reaffirms its support for a moratorium on modifying the human germline.
Designer babies crawl closerby Laurie ZolothCosmos MagazineOctober 5th, 2015Embryo engineering has been rejected by every ethics committee that has ever considered it.
CRISPR-Cpf1: Hype by Association by Elliot HosmanOctober 2nd, 2015Amid Nobel Prize predictions for CRISPR-Cas9 research, a new CRISPR associated protein takes the media and science community by storm, even as its utility remains unclear.
List of Speakers for NAS Meeting on Human Gene Editingby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogOctober 1st, 2015A preliminary list of speakers for the National Academies' international summit on human gene editing has emerged, showing a troubling lack of diversity.
Gene-edited 'micropigs' to be sold as pets at Chinese instituteby David CyranoskiNature NewsSeptember 29th, 2015Originally designed as models for testing expensive drugs in smaller quantities, the pigs are now being marketed as customizable pets.
Scientists Find Gene Editing with CRISPR Hard to Resist[quotes Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Cameron ScottHealthlineSeptember 29th, 2015CRISPR is so cheap and easy to use, we may be genetically engineering human embryos before we have time to decide if we should.
Limits of Responsibility: Genome Editing, Asilomar, and the Politics of Deliberationby J. Benjamin HurlbutHastings Center ReportSeptember 28th, 2015What justifies the notion that CRISPR has caught us off guard or that it is appropriate for experts to retreat into secluded spaces to define the parameters of public debate?
New CRISPR Protein Slices through Genomes, Patent Problemsby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewSeptember 25th, 2015With patent rights and Nobel Prize announcements pending, the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang reports the development of a new CRISPR gene editing enzyme.
What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?by Dalton ConleyNautilusSeptember 24th, 2015Hypothetical scenarios from a future in which human genetic engineering is pervasive.
Considering CRISPR: Putting a thumb on the scale?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015The National Academies have announced the date for their International Summit on Human Gene Editing. Are some of the organizers trying to predetermine the outcome?
The hidden risks for 'three-person' babiesby Garry HamiltonNature NewsSeptember 23rd, 2015"There's a definite possibility you'd see things like disrupted fertility function, various forms of metabolic syndromes and changes in things that relate to metabolism in general."
CRISPR Democracy: Gene Editing and the Need for Inclusive Deliberationby J. Benjamin Hurlbut, Krishanu Saha, & Sheila JasanoffIssues in Science and TechnologySeptember 21st, 2015CRISPR raises basic questions about the rightful place of science in governing the future in democratic societies.
British scientists seek to edit the genes of embryos; bioethicists warn of potential dangers[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Ariana Eunjung ChaWashington PostSeptember 18th, 2015In a "troubling and provocative move," UK researchers have applied to genetically modify human embryos, short-circuiting a nascent international conversation.
Center for Genetics and Society comments on First Application to Pursue Genome Editing Research in Human Embryos[Press statement]September 18th, 2015"If scientists and the regulatory agency in the UK are serious about responsible use of powerful new gene altering technologies, they won't be rushing ahead in ways that could open the door to genetically modified humans."
Stem Cell Experts Support Using CRISPR In Human Embryosby Steph YinPopular ScienceSeptember 10th, 2015Bioethicist Art Caplan responds that "human embryo work is interesting, but to me it should be completely theoretical. We don’t know what we’re doing yet."
GM embryos 'essential', says reportby James GallagherBBCSeptember 10th, 2015A stem cell consortium issues a statement advocating for germline gene editing of human embryos, and that GM babies may be "morally acceptable" under some circumstances in the future.
Fast Forward-Pause-Stop: The 3-Speed Human Germline Debateby Lisa C. Ikemoto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 10th, 2015CRISPR’s rapid uptake has spurred proposals from moratoria to get-out-of-the-way optimism, but ad hoc responses aren’t enough when there is so much at stake.
The Moral Imperative for Psychologistsby George Annas, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 9th, 2015Is Steven Pinker’s recent essay a hidden plea to save scientific research from the perversion of ethically unfettered technological progress?
Why there’s an urgent need for a moratorium on gene editingby Vivek WadhwaWashington PostSeptember 8th, 2015Changing human DNA creates a frightening ethical grey zone; no one is prepared for an era when editing DNA is as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document.
Pinker's Damn: A Naive Rejection of Controls Over Genetic Engineeringby Stuart Newman, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 4th, 2015Steven Pinker's credulous optimism concerning human germline modification ignores a record of complicity by some scientists, and appropriation of the work of others, in abuses by industry and government.
The Rhetorical Two-Step: Steven Pinker, CRISPR, and Disabilityby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 4th, 2015Steven Pinker’s invitation for bioethics to “get out of the way” of the CRISPR revolution typifies a rhetorical pattern: uncritical support for human-focused biotech is paired with a negative view of disability.
Calls for IVF laws to be changed to take advantage of gene editing technique by Steve ConnorThe IndependentSeptember 2nd, 2015A statement by medical research funders in the UK suggests that benefits of modifying the human germ-line could outweigh the ethical objections.
Biohackers Gear Up for Genome Editingby Heidi LedfordNature NewsAugust 26th, 2015DIY labs and synthetic biology "amateurs" are working with cheap and easy-to-use CRISPR gene-editing technology to create novel GM organisms, causing concerns about regulation and safety.
Alphabet/Google Isn’t Evil but Genetically Modifying Mosquitos Might Beby Mic WrightThe Next WebAugust 25th, 2015Recent biotech hype about using gene drive to reduce global malaria is best understood as a new chapter in humanity's historically poor record of forcibly changing ecosystems.
CRISPR: The Latest Biotech Hypeby Anne Fausto-SterlingBoston ReviewAugust 24th, 2015What began with an attempt to build a better yogurt now has journalists speculating about Brave New World scenarios, but the bio-hype relies on a false model of genetic determinism.
Genome Editing: The Age of the Red Pen [Cites CGS]The EconomistAugust 22nd, 2015Germline editing is widely seen as a bourn no ethical traveller should cross. Some scientists want a moratorium on any work aimed at engineering the germ line; others say basic research should continue.
Conversation with Kelly Hills: Human Genetic Modification & Bioethicsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogAugust 20th, 2015“It can be very tempting, when `doing science,’ to merely think about the pieces in front of you: I’m swapping out broken DNA for something better! But…how do we define broken? How do we define better?”
What Will 120 Million CRISPR Dollars Buy?by Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesAugust 13th, 2015As Editas Medicine receives major injection of financing, how will the genetics boom impact funding for public health?
It's Time for an Uncomfortable Discussion about What it Really Means to Engineer a 'Better Baby'[Australia] by Kevin LoriaBusiness Insider [Australia]August 13th, 2015“Humans have more flaws than we know what to do with ... One of them is that we don’t know what it would mean to make a better baby.”
Exciting CRISPR-Powered “Gene Drive” Also Has Scientists Deeply Concernedby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogAugust 12th, 2015While potential heritable genetic modification via CRISPR is generating substantial discussion, gene drive warrants increased attention because of its broad power and self-propagating nature.
Putting Ourselves in Harm's Way: Thoughts on Pinker and the Role of Bioethicsby Nathaniel Comfort, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 12th, 2015Nathaniel Comfort confronts Steven Pinker and the legacy of biomedicine, arguing ethicists and historians need to "get in harm's way to spare harm to others."
CRISPR Race Heats Up As Gates, Crossovers Put $120M Into Editas by Ben FidlerXconomyAugust 10th, 2015Some of the biggest names on Wall Street and elsewhere are handing the largest round of funding yet to a CRISPR-Cas9 startup.
Designing Life from Scratch: A Fledgling Field is About to Take Offby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsAugust 8th, 2015Scientists increasingly are designing life from scratch, using inexpensive, fast and accurate tools to create and assemble strands of DNA like tinkertoys.
The ethical and social concerns of modifying our DNA[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Devin PowellWashington PostAugust 3rd, 2015"Scientists may be being carried away by their own enthusiasm for what they’ve developed," says Marcy Darnovsky.
'Gene Drive': Scientists Sound Alarm Over Supercharged GM Organisms Which Could Spread in the Wild and Cause Environmental Disastersby Steve ConnorThe IndependentAugust 2nd, 2015Scientists fear new technique for generating “supercharged” genetically modified organisms that can spread rapidly in the wild may be misused and cause health emergency or environmental disaster.
CRISPR/Cas Gene-Editing Technique Holds Great Promise, but Research Moratorium Makes Sense Pending Further Study by Jeff Bessen The Conversation July 29th, 2015In the enthusiasm and hype surrounding CRISPR, it is easy to forget that the technology has been in wide use for barely three years and the accompanying risks are not yet known.
The Facts Behind #CRISPRfacts and the Hype Behind CRISPRby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesJuly 28th, 2015WIRED's hyped CRISPR cover article triggered a wave of tweets and criticism.
Cutting-Edge Technology and Mitochondrial Diseases - Where is the Limit?by Dusko IlicBioNewsJuly 27th, 2015In their latest study, Shoukrat Mitalipov and collaborators report on two potential 'gene correction' strategies that can help patients with mitochondrial diseases.
The Power to Remake a Species[quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rebecca BoyleFuture of Life Institute July 23rd, 2015CRISPR could be used to eliminate malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but further public discussion is needed.
Slipping Into Eugenics? Nathaniel Comfort on the History Behind CRISPRby Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesJuly 23rd, 2015A historian unravels the social and political context of genetic research and eugenics in the United States.
Can We Cure Genetic Diseases Without Slipping Into Eugenics?by Nathaniel ComfortThe NationJuly 16th, 2015Gene editing could correct genetic mutations for serious illnesses. Will it also create a new eugenics of personal choice?
Mitochondria Swapby  Kate YandellThe ScientistJuly 15th, 2015Researchers have generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells corrected for mitochondrial defects, but no immediate clinical application is in sight.
Last Scientist in Congress has Human Genetic Engineering Warningby Bill FosterThe HillJuly 8th, 2015"We are on the verge of a technological breakthrough that could change the future of humankind; we must not blindly charge ahead."
Talking About the Germlineby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 8th, 2015The debate about heritable human genetic modification continues, with opinions ranging from enthusiasm to dismay, and strong arguments for political as well as scientific involvement.
Our Focus on the Future Present by Jacob CornInnovative Genomics Initiative blogJuly 6th, 2015At this time, the Innovative Genomics Initiative Lab will not do research on human germline editing for the following several reasons.
Ethics of Gene Editing[with CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Betty RollinKQED Religion & Ethics NewsweeklyJuly 2nd, 2015Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society discusses possible consequences of human germline gene editing for future generations.
Gene Editingby EditorialNature July 1st, 2015Legislators in the US House of Representatives are asserting themselves in the human genetic modification debate, but as public awareness grows this much-needed ethical discussion will take root in broader society.
Genetically Modified Humans? Seven Reasons to Say “No”by Center for Genetics and SocietyCrossing the threshold into inheritable human genetic alterations has long been considered dangerously unacceptable for both safety and social reasons.
Who's Advising the Government on Human Genetics?by Alice MaynardBioNewsJune 29th, 2015A diversity of voices is needed to hold the UK government accountable, instead of relying upon experts to predict long-term consequences no one can accurately foresee.
Editing Of Human Embryo Genes Raises Ethics Questionsby Britt E. EricksonChemical & Engineering NewsJune 29th, 2015With the promise of gene-editing tools come worries that the technology could be used to create designer babies with enhanced traits, such as higher intelligence or greater beauty.
The Promise and Peril of Crisprby John Lauerman and Caroline ChenBloomberg BusinessweekJune 25th, 2015The "cheap gene-editing method could lead to cures — and frankenbabies."
US Congress Moves to Block Human-Embryo Editingby Sara ReardonNature NewsJune 25th, 2015The House appropriations committee has approved a spending bill that would prohibit the FDA from spending money to evaluate research or clinical applications on gene editing in human embryos.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: NAS and NAM Initiative on Human Gene Editingby AnnouncementCommittee On Science, Technology, and LawJune 24th, 2015The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine are launching a major initiative to guide decision making about controversial new research involving human gene editing.
CRISPR: Move Beyond Differencesby Charis ThompsonNatureJune 24th, 2015Researchers and ethicists need to see past what can seem to be gendered debates when it comes to the governance of biotechnology.
A 250,000-fold Oversight on 3-person IVF Mitochondrial Transfer?by Paul KnoepflerStem Cell BlogJune 23rd, 2015The potential impact of 3-person IVF technology must be multiplied perhaps by 250,000 relative to a change in a single nuclear gene in a fertilized egg.
CRISPR: Science Can't Solve itby Daniel SarewitzNature CommentJune 23rd, 2015Democratically weighing up the benefits and risks of gene editing and artificial intelligence is a political endeavour, not an academic one.
"Jurassic World" and the Dinosaurs at the USDAby Rachel SmolkerTruthoutJune 22nd, 2015The regulations of the US Department of Agriculture are in desperate need of an overhaul if they are to protect the public from the derailing of billions of years of evolution for the purpose of corporate profit-making.
Manipulating the Genome of Human Embryos: Some Unforeseen Effectsby Craig HoldregeThe Nature InstituteJune 22nd, 2015Over and beyond technical issues is the pressing ethical concern: should researchers cross the line into genetically manipulating human embryos?
The Science and Ethics of Genetically Engineered Human DNAby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 18th, 2015Discussion of germline genetic modification continues, most recently in the House of Representatives Research and Technology Subcommittee, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
UK Seeks Regulatory Advice for “Mitochondrial Replacement,” Fails to Mention Cross-Generational Implicationsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 17th, 2015How does one go about regulating the world’s first cross-generational biological experiment in human germline modification? The regulating body in charge isn’t exactly sure.
California Stem Cell Agency Symposium: 'Vague Fears' vs. Potential Genetic Alteration of Human Race[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJune 11th, 2015California’s $3 billion stem cell agency has called a high-level meeting for next fall to examine a "red-hot" issue that many researchers say could lead to alteration of the human race.
Should We Edit the Genetic Essence of Life?by Margaret SomervilleThe Globe and MailJune 8th, 2015Will we create a new class-based society of the “gene rich” and “gene poor”? Is there a human right not to be designed?
Genetics in Medicine — Progress and Pitfallsby EditorialThe LancetJune 6th, 2015According to a White House statement, the "administration believes that altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time."
CRISPR, The Disruptorby Heidi LedfordNature NewsJune 3rd, 2015A powerful gene-editing technology is the biggest game changer to hit biology since PCR. But with its huge potential come pressing concerns.
Brave New Genomeby Eric S. LanderNew England Journal of MedicineJune 3rd, 2015It has been only about a decade since we first read the human genome. We should exercise great caution before we begin to rewrite it.
CIRM Pursues “Prudent Path” Forward with Genome Editing Technologiesby Jonathan ThomasThe Stem CellarJune 1st, 2015CIRM Board Chair Jonathan Thomas will convene a public workshop on genome editing technologies this November.
Tired Tropes and New Twists in the Debate about Human Germline Modificationby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2015Techno-enthusiasts now argue that as we think about the human future, we should rule out considering what we might learn from works of literature and film, as well as those aspects of myth, policy and history they don’t like.
The Lessons of Asilomar for Today’s Scienceby Alexander CapronThe New York TimesMay 28th, 2015Attempts to use new gene editing techniques to "improve" our descendants raises profound ethical and social issues, and a group dominated by scientists is too self-interested and unrepresentative to take them on.
Academies Wrestle with Germline Editing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alex PhilippidisGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsMay 27th, 2015“We need many Asilomar-type meetings" and participants should include "both scholars and non-scholars — people from public interest organizations of different kinds, labor unions, community groups, and church groups."
Let’s Talk About the Ethics of Germline Modificationby Gregor WolbringImpact EthicsMay 27th, 2015We need clarity about where the public discussion should take place, what exactly it should focus on, and who should participate.
Center for Genetics and Society comments on White House and National Academies approaches to altering the human germline[Press statement]May 27th, 2015“The endorsement of a pause by the White House is an important first step."
The Scope of Eugenics: A Workshopby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesMay 27th, 2015The four-day workshop, organized by the Edmonton-based Living Archives Project on Eugenics in Western Canada, brought together early-career scholars interested in eugenics to discuss historical models and forms of "Newgenics."
A Note on Genome Editingby John P. HoldrenOffice of Science and Technology PolicyMay 26th, 2015The Administration believes that altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time.
Public Polling on Human Genetic Modification: Mixed, but Favor Moratoriumby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMay 23rd, 2015The results make a case for more inclusion of the public in the dialogue on the use of gene editing in humans.
Eugenics Lurk in the Shadow of CRISPRby Robert PollackScienceMay 22nd, 2015This opening to germline modification is, simply put, the opening of a return to the agenda of eugenics: the positive selection of “good” versions of the human genome and the weeding out of “bad” versions.
Why We Need To Talk Now About The Brave New World Of Editing Genesby Carey GoldbergWBURMay 22nd, 2015Suddenly, it’s no longer purely science fiction that humankind will have the ability to tinker with its own gene pool. But should it?
The New Ethical Frontier: DIY Eugenicsby Michael CookMercatorNetMay 21st, 2015A disruptive technology promises both medical advances and moral controversy.
US Science Academies Take on Human-Genome Editing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sara ReardonNatureMay 18th, 2015The academies will hold an international summit this autumn, and establish a working group to develop a consensus statement.
Francis Collins on CRISPR: "Designer Babies Make Great Hollywood — And Bad Science"by Julia BelluzVoxMay 18th, 2015There's a strong consensus that is a line we should not cross.
National Academies Will Meet to Guide 'Gene Editing' Researchby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsMay 18th, 2015The landmark conference will gather researchers and other experts. One observer warns, "This is an ethical, social and human issue, not a technological issue. I don't think the scientists are the right people to be addressing it."
The Genome Engineering Revolutionby Ryan Clarke and James HyunTech CrunchMay 13th, 2015A brief introduction to the CRISPR-cas9 system.
Gene Editing of Human Embryos – More Ethical Questions to Answerby Dr Calum MacKellarBioNewsMay 11th, 2015It is clear that the safety and efficiency of gene-editing procedures on early embryos give rise to significant biomedical challenges. Ethical questions also need to be addressed.
UC, MIT Battle Over Patent to Gene-Editing Toolby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsMay 9th, 2015UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna filed for a patent first. But in a shocking turn of events, MIT and Zhang won last month, earning the patent that covers use of CRISPR in every species except bacteria.
Stopping or Selling Human Germline Modification?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 7th, 2015Debate about human germline engineering has taken off since publication of a paper describing failed attempts to genetically modify a human embryo.
Splice of Lifeby EditorialNatureMay 6th, 2015Now is a good time for a public debate about human germline editing. Voices from civil society outside the closeted worlds of science, bioethics and regulation be heard, and their viewpoints must help to set the terms of the debate.
Editing Human Germline Cells Sparks Ethics Debate[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tina Hesman SaeyScienceNewsMay 6th, 2015Powerful new gene editing tools could expand the scope of DNA alteration, forever changing humans' genetic destiny. Not everyone thinks scientists should wield that power.
CRISPR Germline Editing Reverberates Through Biotech Communityby BioentrepreneurNature News BlogApril 30th, 2015The group has called for a discussion of the potential merits and risks of the technology and a global moratorium on germline applications, until such time, if ever, responsible uses can be identified.
Could Genetically Engineered Humans Become a Reality?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Robert KingWashington ExaminerApril 30th, 2015If you start to modify embryos for health reasons, then it could start humanity down a path towards non-therapeutic enhancements.
US 'Will Not Fund Research For Modifying Embryo DNA'[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by James GallagherBBCApril 30th, 2015Modifying the DNA of embryos is a "line that should not be crossed", a leading figure in US research says.
Statement on NIH Funding of Research Using Gene-Editing Technologies in Human Embryosby Francis CollinsNational Institute of HealthApril 29th, 2015There are unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent, and a current lack of compelling medical applications justifying the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in embryos.
NIH Statement on Gene Editing Highlights Need for Stronger US Stance on Genetically Modified Humans, Says Public Interest Group[Press statement]April 29th, 2015CGS welcomes NIH Director Francis Collins' unambiguous statement that "altering the human germline in embryos for clinical purposes ...has been viewed almost universally as a line that should not be crossed."
Re-Engineering Human Embryos[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Tom AshbrookOn PointApril 28th, 2015Chinese scientists re-engineer human embryo genes, and set off a global moral debate.
Position Statement from the Society for Developmental Biology on Genomic Editing in Human EmbryosSociety for Developmental BiologyApril 24th, 2015Such studies raise deep ethical concerns on their own, and in addition could lead to unanticipated consequences if manipulated embryos were implanted into a womb and allowed to develop to term.
Ethics of Embryo Editing Paper Divides Scientists[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sara ReardonNature NewsApril 24th, 2015In March, rumours of the work prompted calls for a moratorium on such research. “No researcher has the moral warrant to flout the globally widespread policy agreement against altering the human germline.”
These are the Countries Where it's 'Legal' to Edit Human Embryos (Hint: the US is One) by Lauren F FriedmanBusiness InsiderApril 23rd, 2015In many places there are no laws preventing a scary "Gattaca scenario," where designer babies become routine — just some loose guidelines and a variable sense of ethics.
DNA Editing in Mouse Embryos Prevents Disease[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sara ReardonNature NewsApril 23rd, 2015“It is a bit of a slippery slope — if you start allowing any editing tool, you open a Pandora’s box of the possibility to edit anything.”
Chinese Gene-Editing Experiment Creeps Out Scientists[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Maggie FoxNBC NewsApril 23rd, 2015The work raises the specter of eugenics — making designer babies, or trying to "improve" the human race.
Critics Lash Out At Chinese Scientists Who Edited DNA In Human Embryos[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rob SteinNPRApril 23rd, 2015For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.
Editing Human Embryos: So This Happenedby Carl ZimmerNational GeographicApril 22nd, 2015A quick guide to the history behind this research, what the Chinese scientists did, and what it may signify.
Chinese Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryosby David Cyranoski & Sara ReardonNature NewsApril 22nd, 2015Rumours of germline modification prove true — and look set to reignite an ethical debate.
Public interest group calls for strengthening global policies against human germline modification[Press statement]April 22nd, 2015“No researcher has the moral warrant to flout the globally widespread policy agreement against altering the human germline.”
Panel discussion on the Ethical and Social Policy Considerations of Novel Techniques for Prevention of Maternal Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Diseases (March/April 2015) [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]
Calling for “More than a Moratorium” on Human Germline Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2015A broader array of critical responses and policy suggestions follows recent reports that the gene-editing technique CRISPR has been used to genetically modify human sperm, eggs or embryos.
Genetic Engineering & The Future of Humankindby Jamie MetzlIvy MagazineApril 9th, 2015We’re on the verge of this fundamental transformation, not just of our reproductive processes, but of how we think of ourselves as humans.
DARPA, Synthetic Biology and Human Germline Engineering by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2015The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is committed to synthetic biology as one of its four main project areas, and may be involved in human germline experiments.
Incurious about Ethics?by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2015An Institute of Medicine committee is studying the “ethical and social policy” implications of germline mitochondrial manipulation. Why do most of its members seem uninterested in social or policy questions?
The Next Manhattan Projectby Patrick TuckerThe AtlanticApril 7th, 2015Anticipating cutting-edge scientific research before it happens may be key to protecting against bioterrorism.
Genetic Engineering, Humankind Creeps Toward A 'Planet Of The Apes' by Laurent AlexandreWorld CrunchApril 7th, 2015The astounding developments in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science are posing problems that we thought only existed in science fiction.
Human Genetic Engineering Demands more than a Moratoriumby Sheila Jasanoff, J. Benjamin Hurlbut and Krishanu SahaThe GuardianApril 7th, 2015Expert calls for a moratorium on germline gene engineering are no substitute for richer public debate on the ethics and politics of our biotechnological futures.
Why is the Scientific World Abuzz about an Unpublished Paper? Because it Could Permanently Change Human DNAby Ashley CsanadyNational PostApril 6th, 2015Scientists around the world are anticipating the results of a Chinese study that would mark the first time DNA in a human embryo has been modified in a way that would carry into future generations.
Who Owns CRISPR?by Jenny RoodThe ScientistApril 3rd, 2015“The technology seems so powerful, the technology seems so profitable, and the intellectual property issues seem so irreconcilable that it’s a big mystery as to what’s going to happen.”
Who’s Getting Rich Off Your Genes?by Patricia J. WilliamsThe NationApril 3rd, 2015The post-war aversion to eugenics — the understanding that despite great variability from one human to another, no one life is worth more than another — has eroded.
Doudna’s Caribou Bio Raises $11M To Expand Uses For Gene Editing Techby Bernadette TanseyXconomyApril 2nd, 2015The money will help the company speed up its efforts to adapt a versatile genome editing technique for uses including drug research and development, and industrial technology.
Mini Enzyme Moves Gene Editing Closer to the Clinicby Heidi LedfordNature NewsApril 1st, 2015The discovery expands the potential CRISPR toolbox for treating genetic diseases in humans.
Genome Editing Poses Ethical Problems that we Cannot Ignoreby Anthony Wrigley and Ainsley NewsonThe ConversationMarch 31st, 2015With great power comes great responsibility – and few subjects elicit such heated debates about moral rights and wrongs.
Controversial Fertility Treatments Focus on Eggs’ Power Plantsby Jennifer Couzin-FrankelScience MagazineMarch 30th, 2015A Massachusetts company is convinced that mitochondria are key to conceiving a baby. More than 10 women are now pregnant via the firm’s method, which adds a bolus of a woman’s own mitochondria to her mature egg.
New DNA Tech: Creating Unicorns and Curing Cancer for Real?by David Ewing DuncanThe Daily BeastMarch 30th, 2015We have the earth-shattering technology in our hands—but even its inventors worry about its awesome power to alter our genetic future.
Strategy: Lines in the Sandby C. Simone FishburnBioCenturyMarch 26th, 2015With some researchers calling for restraint on the use of gene editing while ground rules are laid, schisms are already surfacing on whether there's any case to be made for using the technology in human germline cells.
Lisa Ikemoto Guest Piece on Human Germline Genetic Modificationby Lisa C. IkemotoKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMarch 23rd, 2015The call for a moratorium is as much a game changer as the technology itself. It creates an opportunity for research transparency and open exchange between the scientific community and the lay public.
Practical Plan for Managing Human Germline Genetic Modificationby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogMarch 20th, 2015There is a growing sense of urgency amongst biomedical scientists to take a proactive approach to current and future use of CRISPR technology in human germ cells and embryos.
Scientists Urge Temporary Moratorium On Human Genome Editsby Rob SteinNPRMarch 20th, 2015Leading biologists and bioethicists are calling for a worldwide moratorium.
A Tipping Point on Human Germline Modification?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 19th, 2015Amidst reports that human embryos have been modified using the gene editing technique CRISPR, several groups of scientists have issued statements proposing moratoria on human germline genome editing.
Public interest group condemns human germline modification efforts, supports research moratorium, calls for US prohibition[Press Statement]March 19th, 2015We're at a watershed moment in determining whether human genetic technologies will be used in the public interest and for the common good, or in ways that are dangerous and socially pernicious.
American Scientists are Trying to Genetically Modify Human Eggsby Steve ConnorThe IndependentMarch 13th, 2015Editing the chromosomes of human eggs or sperm to create genetically modified IVF embryos is illegal in Britain and many other countries.
Industry Body Calls for Gene-Editing Moratoriumby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewMarch 12th, 2015Gene-editing companies say research on altering the DNA of human reproductive cells is dangerous and unethical.
Scientists Sound Alarm Over DNA Editing of Human Embryosby David CyranoskiNature NewsMarch 12th, 2015Researchers call on scientists to agree not to modify human embryos — even for research.
Don’t Edit The Human Germ Lineby Edward Lanphier, Fyodor Urnov, Sarah Ehlen Haecker, Michael Werner & Joanna SmolenskiNature NewsMarch 12th, 2015Heritable human genetic modifications pose serious risks, and the therapeutic benefits are tenuous.
Britain Moving Too Fast on 3-Parent Childrenby EditorialLos Angeles TimesMarch 11th, 2015Scientists do not know the long-term results of allowing children to be conceived with DNA from three parents.
A Baby From Three[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Govind VijaykumarThe Asian AgeMarch 8th, 2015Within a year, the world could see the first of what’s being described as the three-parent baby. And it’s one of mankind’s riskiest endeavours.
Engineering the Perfect Babyby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewMarch 5th, 2015Scientists are developing ways to edit the DNA of tomorrow’s children. Should they stop before it’s too late?
With World Watching, UK Allows Experiments to Genetically Alter Babiesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2015Despite several possibly insurmountable legal and safety hurdles, the House of Lords gave the final approval needed to move into fertility clinics the embryo modification techniques referred to as “mitochondrial donation.”
Babies from Two Bio-Dads?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2015Recent research on human germ cells has revived speculation about the possible uses of artificial gametes.
Three-Parent IVF: What's The Hurry?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FarrellForbesFebruary 28th, 2015Science shouldn’t be a rush order, especially when the health and well-being of a future generation and its descendants depends on it.
Reproduction 3.0by Leah RamsayBerman Institute of Bioethics BulletinFebruary 26th, 2015Bioethics scholars discuss the science and ethics of the UK vote to allow mitochondrial manipulation procedures.
Mitochondrial Gene Therapy Passes Final U.K. Vote[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Gretchen VogelScience InsiderFebruary 24th, 2015The technique is controversial because the modified DNA would be passed on to future generations.
The Truth about Mitochondrial Replacementby Françoise BaylisImpact EthicsFebruary 23rd, 2015If we are to have honest conversation about possible benefits and harms of mitochondrial replacement, we should start by acknowledging that discussions to date have been a distraction.
Blog: Three Parent IVFby Dr Trevor StammersSt Mary’s University BlogFebruary 16th, 2015At our current stage of understanding of the interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, this proposed new therapy could turn out to be a monstrous mistake.
Three Parent Babies: Unethical, Unnecessary, Unsafe by Philippa TaylorBioNewsFebruary 16th, 2015The risks these new experiments hold for the lives and health of human embryos, children and egg donors, and the unprecedented modification of the human germline, together provide a case for not crossing this Rubicon.
Mitochondrial Mission Creep and the Cloning Connection by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 14th, 2015Shoukhrat Mitalipov wants to use nuclear genome transfer for age-related infertility. He has joined forces with the disgraced stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk.
ADF to European Parliament: UK ‘Three-Parent Embryo’ Legislation IllegalGlobal DispatchFebruary 13th, 2015Couples can be helped without tampering with the building blocks of humanity. The issue comes down to fundamental human rights and the constitutional traditions of the member states.
Top 10 Myths About 3-Person IVF Mitochondrial Transferby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogFebruary 10th, 2015Although well-intentioned, this technology could end up doing far more harm than good, especially if implemented too soon.
Three-Parent Embryos: Medical World Falls Out Over Eggs, Cells and Terminologyby Steve ConnorThe IndependentFebruary 8th, 2015Professor Stuart Newman claims that the commonly used terms are misnomers designed to make it easier for the public to accept the process.
Scientist Who Pioneered 'Three-Parent' IVF Embryo Technique Now Wants to Offer it to Older Women Trying For a Babyby Steve ConnorThe IndependentFebruary 8th, 2015Shoukhrat Mitalipov wants to use "mitochondrial transfer" as a fertility treatment.
Britain is on the Brink of a Perilous Vote for 'Three-Person In Vitro Fertilization'by Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsLos Angeles TimesFebruary 8th, 2015Crossing this threshold raises a profound societal question that until now has been hypothetical: As biotechnologies improve and enable us to make more specific genetic changes in our offspring, how far will we go?
UK Set to Legalize Babies With DNA From 3 Parents[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]KQED RadioFebruary 6th, 2015Bay Area public radio discusses the technology and whether the U.S. and other countries may follow Britain's lead.
Breaking Down The Science Of '3-Parent Babies'[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alyona MinkovskiHuffPost LiveFebruary 4th, 2015The U.K. has approved creating babies with the DNA of three different people. We break down the pros, cons and controversy.
U.K. Parliament Approves Controversial Three-Parent Mitochondrial Gene Therapy[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Gretchen Vogel and Erik StokstadScienceFebruary 3rd, 2015Despite warnings from scientists, the United Kingdom’s House of Commons voted to allow British researchers to pursue a new fertility treatment that could prevent certain kinds of genetic diseases.
Comment on House of Commons Vote Approving the Germline Engineering Technique “3-Person IVF”[Press statement]February 3rd, 2015MPs approved the technique despite more than 40 countries and several international human rights treaties that prohibit inheritable genetic modification.
Three-Person IVF: Science Shows Ethical Questions Remain Unansweredby Ted MorrowThe ConversationFebruary 1st, 2015Bioethicists, policy makers and the general public need to appreciate that genes act in networks and if edited may have unpredictable effects on processes and traits.
Big Push for 3-parent Technology in UK: Some Thoughts From the Other Sideby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogJanuary 30th, 2015We cannot at this time have a reasonable expectation that this technology would be safe and effective.
Center for Genetics and Society Releases Open Letter to UK Members of Parliament as Vote on “Mitochondrial Donation” Approaches[Press statement]January 29th, 2015Five things MPs should know about “mitochondrial donation” before casting a vote.
Key Questions About the Social and Ethical Implications of Nuclear Genome Transfer or “3-Person IVF” Techniquesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015As the Institute of Medicine launches an official assessment over the next year, here are eight questions to consider.
Institute of Medicine to Study the Social Policy and Ethics of “3-Person IVF”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015The FDA held a public meeting last year to assess the safety and efficacy of nuclear genome transfer for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial diseases. Now it has asked the Institute of Medicine to consider the social and ethical issues.
UK May Be Poised for “Historic Mistake” on “3-Person IVF”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015A Parliamentary vote is expected as soon as February.
'Designer Babies' Debate Should Start, Scientists Sayby James GallagherBBC NewsJanuary 18th, 2015New gene editing techniques make "designer babies" more feasible, but that does not mean it's inevitably the way we have to go as a society.
Three-Parent Baby Pioneer Jamie Grifo: ‘The Brits Will be Ahead of the World’by Steve ConnorThe IndependentJanuary 16th, 2015A fertility doctor insists his "three-parent embryo" technique is safe, even though the woman who became pregnant with twins using it lost both babies.
New Three-Parent Baby Law ‘is Flawed and Open to Challenge’, says Senior Lawyerby Steve ConnorThe Independent [UK]January 14th, 2015The UK Government’s attempt to legalise so-called “three parent” babies is open to challenge by judicial review, warns international law expert Daniel Brennan.
The Future of Conceptionby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJanuary 8th, 2015Numerous writers took advantage of the ending year to look broadly at just how drastically we are changing the process of baby-making, and what it all means for society.
Biopolitical News of 2014by Pete Shanks, Jessica Cussins & Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesDecember 19th, 2014This is everything important that happened in biopolitics in 2014 (or close to it).
Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2014by Jessica Cussins & Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2014In 2014, CGS staffers and contributors posted 107 blogs in Biopolitical Times. These are twelve of our favorites.
Rules for Babies 'From Three People'by James GallagherBBCDecember 17th, 2014With the regulations now finalized, MPs will soon vote on whether to make the UK the only country in the world to legalize a form of human germline modification.
Yesterday's War; Tomorrow's Technology by Nicholas G. Evans and Jonathan D. MorenoJournal of Law and the BiosciencesDecember 15th, 2014What's wrong with the prospect of the US military using genetic screening and germline genetic engineering to select or "enhance" soldiers?
The ‘Science’ of Eugenics: America’s Moral Detourby Marilyn M. SingletonJournal of American Physicians and SurgeonsDecember 15th, 2014Within 100 years, our deep thinkers went from declaring that in our new country “all men are created equal” to espousing the idea that “some men are more equal than others.”
Commercialisation and the Moral Obligation to Create 'Designer' Babiesby John GallowayBioNewsDecember 8th, 2014Julian Savulescu made the case for a new 'eugenics', without ever using the word, at Progress Educational Trust's 2014 annual conference.
Couple Spends $50K to Choose Baby's Sex, Shining Light on Trend[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Beth GreenfieldYahooDecember 5th, 2014What if a boy wants to write poetry? What if a girl wants to play basketball? Not wear dresses? Announce that she’s transgender?
Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewDecember 4th, 2014At stake are rights to an invention that may be the most important new genetic engineering technique since the beginning of the biotechnology age in the 1970s: the CRISPR system.
CRISPR Opportunities … For What? And For Whom? by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 4th, 2014Money and deals are flowing into the companies founded on CRISPR technology, which promises to enable the precise editing of genomes.
Deceptive Labeling of a Radical Embryo Construction Techniqueby Stuart A. NewmanThe Huffington PostDecember 1st, 2014The British Parliament appears poised to give the go-ahead to a set of techniques for generating infants which, if implemented, would constitute the first cases of large-scale human genetic engineering.
Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?by Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsGeneWatchNovember 24th, 2014The terms "genetically modified babies" and "designer babies" are attention-getters. But beyond the catchy sound bites, what do they really mean - and are they something we need to worry about?
Human Germline Modification in the UK? Cries of Caution from all Cornersby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 201475% of submissions about three-person IVF to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee warn that more evidence is needed prior to offering these techniques.
Combining The DNA Of Three People Raises Ethical Questionsby Rob SteinNPRNovember 10th, 2014It would be the first time genetic changes have been made in human DNA that would be passed on, down the generations, through the germline.
Open Letter to UK Parliament: Avoid Historic Mistake on Rushing Human Genetic Modificationby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogNovember 2nd, 2014There are too many unanswered questions and risks that remain to allow it to proceed at this time. In fact, moving forward with it would most likely be a tragic mistake for the UK.
What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2014The Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament held an evidence hearing last week to examine the science and proposed regulation of so-called “mitochondrial donation,” or “3-person IVF,” but huge swaths of evidence were widely dismissed.
Minister Sparks Backlash for Suggesting Foreigners Could Undergo 'Three-Parent Babies' IVF Treatment in Britainby Ben Riley-SmithTelegraphOctober 23rd, 2014MPs and peers from across the political divide raised fears the move could create a new front of health tourism, with foreigners coming to the UK to circumvent bans in their home countries.
Bid to Delay ‘Three Parent Babies’ Through IVF as Tests Find Fears Could Suffer Reduced Fertility, Learning Difficulties and even Cancerby Jonathan Petre and Stephen AdamsMail on SundayOctober 4th, 2014Legislation to allow the birth of babies with genes from three biological parents should be put on hold because it is far riskier than previously thought, scientists warn.
The Collapse of a Dangerous Analogy: Or, why mitochondria are much more than batteries by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 29th, 2014Amid a flood of new evidence that mitochondria impact an individual’s traits, the editors at New Scientist have made a “U-turn” on “three-parent babies.” Their new conclusion: “It’s more messy than we thought.”
Three-Parent Babies: It's More Messy Than we Thoughtby EditorialNew ScientistSeptember 18th, 2014It appears that we may have seriously underestimated the influence that mitochondria have. Recent research suggests that they play a key role in some of the most important features of human life.
New Poll Finds Only 18% of British Adults in Support of "3-Person IVF"by Jessica CussinsBiopolitcal TimesSeptember 15th, 2014A newly released poll finds substantial public reluctance to change UK law to allow the genetic modification of future generations.
“Evolution right now is in the marketplace”by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 11th, 2014George Church is as outrageous as ever, while both transhumanist ideas and concerns about increasing inequality are receiving more attention.
A Manifesto for Playing God with Human Evolutionby Carl ElliottNew ScientistSeptember 8th, 2014Fancy living forever, or uploading your mind to the net? The Proactionary Imperative embraces transhumanist dreams, but reminds why we need medical ethics.
Myth Replacement Therapy: MPs Debate the Science of Mitochondriaby Dr. Ted MorrowBioNewsSeptember 8th, 2014There are clearly misconceptions about mitochondrial genetics repeated during the debate that are not supported by current scientific evidence.
Editing DNA Could be Genetic Medicine Breakthrough[References CGS]by Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleSeptember 7th, 2014A new way to make powerful changes at will to the DNA of humans, other animals and plants, much like how a writer changes words in a story, could usher in a transformation in genetic medicine.
Body Upgrades may be Nearing Reality, but Only for the Richby Ian SampleThe GuardianSeptember 5th, 2014Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari says expensive human enhancements will lead to a society more unequal than ever.
"3-Person IVF" Debated in UK Parliamentby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 3rd, 2014The debate in Britain over combining eggs or embryos to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disease received a public airing, though no firm conclusion, in the House of Commons on September 1st.
Britain will be considered a 'rogue state' if it creates GM people, MP warnsPress AssociationSeptember 1st, 2014Allowing mitochondrial replacement therapy to prevent the birth of children with incurable diseases could lead to people being created for 'harvesting their parts'
Medical dilemma of 'three-parent babies': Fertility clinic investigates health of teenagers it helped to be conceived through controversial IVF techniqueby Steve ConnorThe Independent (UK)August 25th, 2014A private fertility clinic in the United States has launched an investigation into the health of 17 teenagers who were born as a result of a controversial IVF technique that produced the world’s first “three-parent” embryos more than 15 years ago.
Should We Open the Door to Genetically Modified Babies?by Jessica CussinsCNBCAugust 11th, 2014There has been a lot of confusion around this controversial issue, but as we are now facing a historic crossroads, it is important to set the record straight.
Huntington Man Deals with Mitochondrial Disease as Preventive Measures Debated[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kathleen KerrNewsdayAugust 1st, 2014Neither Tiller nor his mother are convinced that high-tech embryos are the best way to attack mitochondrial disease. She asked, "How do you know what might manifest in the long run?"
Scientists Accuse Government of Dishonesty Over GM Babies in its Regulation of new IVF Technique by Steve ConnorThe IndependentJuly 28th, 2014Leading scientists accuse the UK Government of misleading the public by redefining the term "genetic modification."
Failures and Risks in Biosafety Regulationby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Accidents at CDC and elsewhere point up the difficulties in regulating potentially dangerous releases of genetically modified organisms, which scientists are, quite responsibly, discussing.
Three Person IVF Plans 'Progress' in UKby Smitha MundasadBBCJuly 22nd, 2014"Looking back 15 years from now in the midst of a designer baby marketplace, people will see this as the moment when the crucial ethical line was crossed."
UK Move Toward “3-Person IVF” is Risky and Premature, Says Public Interest Group[Press statement]July 22nd, 2014The UK Department of Health has announced it will press ahead with efforts to gain Parliamentary approval for three-person IVF.
Procedure to Create Babies with Three People's DNA Could be Legalised in April [UK]by Ian SampleThe Guardian July 22nd, 2014The Department of Health will press ahead with regulations on mitochondrial transfer after public consultation, but several hurdles remain.
Safety Concerns Remain Over Three-Person IVFby Ted MorrowThe GuardianJuly 22nd, 2014There is a lack of data from species more closely related to humans – a gap in our knowledge that would be wise to fill before proceeding to clinical trials.
A Paragraph in Slow Motion: Three-Person IVF in The New York Timesby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 10th, 2014A close look at the rhetoric used to justify experimental technologies, and particularly at the way reasonable objections are dismissed.
Mom's Environment During Pregnancy can Affect her Grandchildrenby Jocelyn KaiserScienceJuly 10th, 2014The finding offers some of the strongest evidence yet that a mother’s environment during pregnancy can alter the expression of DNA in ways that are passed on to future generations.
We're Already Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Olga KhazanThe AtlanticJuly 3rd, 2014Even today, parents are selecting for the traits they want in their offspring. But how far should the genetic tailoring go?
Should We Design Our Babies? [VIDEO] [With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]The Aspen InstituteJuly 2nd, 2014At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Marcy Darnovsky and Nita A. Farahany discuss the possibility and implications of "designer babies."
The Brave New World of Three-Parent I.V.F.[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kim TingleyNew York Times MagazineJune 27th, 2014The historic nature of the moment has turned the technique into a symbol, a red line separating humanity from a dystopian or progressive future, depending on how you look at it.
Seralini Republished: Roundup-Ready GMO Maize Causes Serious Health Damageby Oliver TickellThe EcologistJune 25th, 2014A scientific study has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure.
Selling the Next False Hope? How Experimental IVF Techniques Could be Legalized Despite Increasing Evidence of Potential Harmby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 24th, 2014Contrary to official reports, new evidence shows that “3-person IVF” could pose serious risks to women and children. So why are we being told that it’s a “not unsafe” option?
Three Parents and a Baby - Scientists Advise Caution with Regard to Artificial Insemination MethodHealth CanalJune 18th, 2014One mitochondrial type may be able to assert itself against the other. If the assertive one happens to carry the defective mtDNA, the benefit of the therapy would be jeopardized.
Should Three People be Allowed to Make a Baby?by Arielle Duhaime-RossVergeJune 12th, 2014Researchers might soon make a child with three genetic parents, but the ethics of "designer babies" haven't been worked out.
On the New Alphabet of Lifeby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 6th, 2014On metaphors, stories, and synthetic nucleotides: rewriting the code of life.
"Three-Person IVF" Update Reveals How Little We Knowby Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostJune 5th, 2014The UK fertility regulator has been saying the techniques are "not unsafe" for three years now. This should not be interpreted to mean that they are in fact safe.
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