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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.



STAT-Harvard poll: Americans say no to ‘designer babies’by Sharon BegleySTATFebruary 11th, 201665% think altering “the genes of unborn babies” to reduce the risk of certain serious diseases should be illegal, and 83% said doing so to improve “intelligence or physical characteristics” should be illegal.
California’s Stem Cell Agency Considers “Editing” Human Embryosby Marcy Darnovsky Biopolitical Times February 9th, 2016Three takeaway points from CIRM’s recent meeting on human gene editing.
We Are This Close to "Designer Babies"[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Nina Liss-SchultzMother JonesFebruary 8th, 2016Issues to consider in light of the UK's approval of using CRISPR gene editing on human embryos for research.
Stem cell agency to begin review of human genetic changes by David JensenCapitol WeeklyFebruary 5th, 2016California’s stem cell agency has embarked on what is likely to be an exhaustive review of its rules for research involving genetic alteration of human embryos.
The billion-dollar CRISPR patent battle: A case of big money shaping scienceby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesFebruary 5th, 2016"The real question is whether the future of the technology will be guided by the need to learn more, or the opportunity to earn more."
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.
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