Biopolitical Times

The Center for Genetics and Society blog highlights the latest developments in the social, political, and ethical implications of human biotechnologies, with contributions from staff, fellows, consultants, and guest authors.


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Two prominent groups of scientists, and two major American universities, are trying to patent methods for editing human embryos, with reproductive use clearly intended. Really. Right now.

Heritable genome editing – that is, altering the genes and traits of future children and generations – is prohibited in 70 countries and wildly controversial everywhere. But these people and institutions are laying the groundwork to capitalize on a future they apparently hope to make happen. This summary of what we currently know...

Biopolitical Times

In the last six years, scientific groups have organized two multi-day International Summits, both with published summaries, and at least four major reports that discuss whether heritable human genome editing should be allowed, and if so when and under what circumstances. The general trend in these quarters has clearly been supportive of developing the technology, with two important caveats: safety and public acceptance. A casual observer, such as a busy politician who might have to vote on the subject, might...

An organization of scientists is recommending that limitations on several experimental and controversial research procedures – including heritable genome editing, artificial gametes, and growing human embryos in the lab – be loosened or rolled back.

CRISPR People is an amalgam: one part historical reconstruction, one part legal inquiry, one part ethical examination, it delves into the disquieting events of late 2018 when word emerged that He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist at the Southern University of...