Friday, September 11, 2015

make every foetus count

BBC | It is "essential" that the genetic modification of human embryos is allowed, says a group of scientists, ethicists and policy experts.
A Hinxton Group report says editing the genetic code of early stage embryos is of "tremendous value" to research.
It adds although GM babies should not be allowed to be born at the moment, it may be "morally acceptable" under some circumstances in the future.
The US refuses to fund research involving the gene editing of embryos.
The global Hinxton Group met in response to the phenomenal advances taking place in the field of genetics.
A range of novel techniques combine a "molecular sat-nav" that travels to a precise location in our DNA with a pair of "molecular scissors" that cut it.
It has transformed research in a wide range of fields, but the progress means genetically modified babies are ceasing to be a prospect and fast becoming a possibility.
Earlier this year, a team at Sun Yat-sen University, in China, showed that errors in the DNA that led to a blood disorder could be corrected in early stage embryos.
In the future, the technologies could be used to prevent children being born with cystic fibrosis or genes that increase the risk of cancer.

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