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Top Genetics Experts Call for Ban on Modifying DNA of Embryos

  • Restrictions would apply only to genes that can be inherited
  • The proposed ban follows birth of gene-edited twins in China
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A Brief History of Gene Editing

Four months after a Chinese scientist shocked the world with news that he had intentionally altered the DNA of twin girls, top genetics experts and ethicists are calling for a partial ban on the use of a gene-editing technology that can be used to make modified humans.

The researchers, including pioneers of the editing technique, are asking nations to prohibit doctors and scientists from changing the DNA in sperm, eggs or embryos intended to produce living children. The ban would be in place while more stringent standards for the technology were developed, and the technology, Crispr, could still be used for other research or for treating disease by editing non-reproductive cells.