Congress Limits Gene Editing

By Richard Nelson

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June 11, 2019

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The U.S. Congress voted to ban funding for experiments on gene editing.  This is when scientists manipulate genes at the embryonic stage in order to rid the baby of genes linked to disease or other defects. While the intentions may be good, the downside appears to be steep. According to a report published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers found that humans who've had their genes edited face "a significantly higher risk of premature death." This has raised alarm in the scientific community, especially as one Chinese scientist announced that he successfully edited the genes of twin girls in order to make them resistant to HIV. He may have successfully achieved that goal, but the girls may not end living to a normal lifespan, which defeats the purpose of gene editing.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center