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About Inheritable Genetic Modification


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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.



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, 2015A technology called CRISPR could allow scientists to alter the human genetic code for generations by making genetic changes in a human egg, sperm or embryo. Leading 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 ó even for research.
Donít 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.
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