Op-Eds

By Osagie Obasogie, The Washington Post | 06.05.2020

Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

Pandemics are often thought to be unforeseeable acts of God that emerge suddenly to...

Whether to employ heritable genome editing is not a decision we can take lightly. It certainly cannot be treated as a choice we have already made.

Heritable Human Genome Editing: Nearing a Critical Juncture

The impending decision about whether to develop and use heritable human genome modification carries high stakes for our shared future. Deciding to proceed with altering the genes of future children and generations...

As genetic technologies merge with forensics, medicine, and human reproduction, renewed eugenic temptations are arising. The prospect of heritable genetic modification has been debated for decades; the prevailing position in international policy and human rights documents has been that, due...

Dozens of nations have considered this prospect and decided that manipulating the human germline should be legally off limits. The U.S. and China have not.

In mid-July, a bipartisan trio of U.S. Senators—Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Marco Rubio of Florida—introduced a resolution calling for the creation of an international commission to set ethical standards for...

Late last year, scientist He Jiankui announced the birth of the world’s first genetically modified babies. He deployed a technology known as CRISPR to alter the genomes of two embryos that he used to initiate a pregnancy; their mother...

As the debate about heritable genome editing unfolds, divergent perspectives are coming more clearly into view. Those who see it as offering little or no benefit while posing unacceptable societal risks support either the currently prevailing policies that ban it...

Last fall, when a Chinese scientist announced that he had created genetically modified twin babies, the world was stunned and outraged. In the U.S., we were able to draw some modicum of reassurance from a policy that has served as...