December 25, 2018 – CRISPR Babies


Anchor lead: What is the best response to gene-edited babies being born? Elizabeth Tracey reports

The announcement that so-called gene edited babies, twins, had been born took the world by storm recently, and unleased a furor of reaction. Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins, offers his perspective.

Kahn: There’s a kind of quick jump to prohibition in cases like this, which is, I think, not the right answer, although maybe language around making clear that there should be a moratorium on the implantation of gene-edited human embryos until and unless there are certain criteria that are met. I think what ought to happen is international effort to establish a very clear model policy that countries would then review and adopt fully, modified in whatever ways made sense for their systems. :34

Such efforts are currently underway by international organizations in an attempt to reign in rouge scientists, since changes to DNA made in this way are passed to succeeding generations. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.