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15 Worrying Things About the CRISPR Babies Scandal - The Atlantic
He relied on an aids association to reach out to the patients and falsely described his work as an “aids-vaccine development project.” He told delegates at the Hong Kong summit that he personally took the volunteers through the informed-consent process, along with another professor....a vulnerability at the heart of modern science. That is: Small groups of researchers can make virtually unilateral decisions about experiments that have potentially global consequences, and that everyone else only learns about after the fact.
biotech  ethics  crispr  aids  health  classism  science 
5 days ago by jomc
Scott Gottlieb, M.D. on Twitter: "Certain uses of science should be judged intolerable, and cause scientists to be cast out. The use of CRISPR to edit human embryos or germ line cells should fall into that bucket. Anything less puts the science and the en
> Certain uses of science should be judged intolerable, and cause scientists to be cast out. The use of CRISPR to edit human embryos or germ line cells should fall into that bucket. Anything less puts the science and the entire scientific enterprise at risk.
FDA  science  CRISPR  germ_line  embryo 
7 days ago by porejide
Despite CRISPR baby controversy, Harvard University will begin gene-editing sperm • MIT Technology Review
Antonio Regalado:
<p>At [Harvard University's] Stem Cell Institute, IVF doctor and scientist Werner Neuhausser says he plans to begin using CRISPR, the gene-editing tool, to change the DNA code inside sperm cells. The objective: to show whether it is possible to create IVF babies with a greatly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

To be clear, there are no embryos involved—no attempt to make a baby. Not yet. Instead, the researchers are practicing how to change the DNA in sperm collected from Boston IVF, a large national fertility-clinic network. This is still very basic, and unpublished, research.

Yet in its purpose the project is similar to the work undertaken in China and raises the same fundamental question: does society want children with genes tailored to prevent disease?

Since Sunday, when the CRISPR babies claims was made public, medical bodies and experts have ferociously condemned He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist responsible. There is evidence his experiments—now halted—were carried forward in an unethical, deceptive manner that may have endangered the children he created. China’s vice minister of science and technology, Xu Nanping, said the effort “crossed the line of morality and ethics and was shocking and unacceptable.”

Amid the condemnation, though, it was easy to lose track of what the key experts were saying. Technology to alter heredity is for real. It is improving very quickly, it has features that will make it safe, and much wider exploratory use to create children could be justified soon. </p>


Ambitious.
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8 days ago by charlesarthur

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