The World Health Organization has published new recommendations regarding human genome editing. It proposed building a system to track “any form of genetic manipulation” due to concerns about unethical research.
The organization’s panel of experts says all research involving human genome editing should be made public, although the committee cautions that this does not always deter unethical scientists.
“In the field of stem cell research, unscrupulous entrepreneurs and clinics have intentionally misused clinical trial registrations by registering procedures they intended to perform as if they had appropriately sanctioned in clinical trials”. group said.
At the end of 2018, the United Nations health agency assembled a committee of experts to respond to the surprising revelation of Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he had developed The world’s first gene-edited babies, twin sisters called Lulu and Nana.
Following the announcement, there was widespread outcry over his conduct. However, the details of the incident are still unknown as he has not been transparent about his work.
He presented his work in less than 20 minutes at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong in November 2018, his only public appearance since. when declaring.
Although he presented evidence of what he did to the twins’ DNA, it was not enough to convince anyone that he had safely altered the genome of the fertilized embryo in test tube who becomes Lulu and Nana.
The organization’s expert committee also recommended creating strategies for measuring potentially problematic gene-editing studies, as well as a system for “reporting violations of research integrity. “
“The committee agrees that anyone undertaking clinical applications of human germline genome editing is irresponsible at this time,” said committee chair Margaret Hamburg. said in a news press conference.
However, these recommendations are subject to change. Over the next two years, the team will continue to examine human gene editing, meeting with additional experts and leaders before finalizing the international set of standards.
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