… is like trusting five-year-olds to edit the Constitution
From International Conference on Human Gene Editing (A Global Summit):
It would be irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing unless and until (i) the relevant safety and efficacy issues have been resolved, based on appropriate understanding and balancing of risks, potential benefits, and alternatives, and (ii) there is broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application. Moreover, any clinical use should proceed only under appropriate regulatory oversight. At present, these criteria have not been met for any proposed clinical use: the safety issues have not yet been adequately explored; the cases of most compelling benefit are limited; and many nations have legislative or regulatory bans on germline modification. However, as scientific knowledge advances and societal views evolve, the clinical use of germline editing should be revisited on a regular basis.
4. Need for an Ongoing Forum. While each nation ultimately has the authority to regulate activities under its jurisdiction, the human genome is shared among all nations. The international community should strive to establish norms concerning acceptable uses of human germline editing and to harmonize regulations, in order to discourage unacceptable activities while advancing human health and welfare.
We therefore call upon the national academies that co-hosted the summit – the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine; the Royal Society; and the Chinese Academy of Sciences – to take the lead in creating an ongoing international forum to discuss potential clinical uses of gene editing; help inform decisions by national policymakers and others; formulate recommendations and guidelines; and promote coordination among nations.
The forum should be inclusive among nations and engage a wide range of perspectives and expertiseMore.
Note the emphasis on changing views and ongoing discussions — = ‘cratspeak for moving the boundaries to do just whatever boffins want or will allow.
But in may places, people vote for it.
See also: Complex grammar of the genome’s language
Storing knowledge for a million years – in DNA? All civilization’s knowledge could exist within a few cubic metres.
Follow UD News at Twitter!