W ASHINGTON – A bipartisan Senator trio presented a resolution on Monday highlighting their opposition to the experiments in China last year that led to the birth of the world's first genome-processed baby.
The resolution by Sens Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) And Jack Reed (DR.I.) also reaffirmed their support for international groups working on guidelines for clinical use The germ line editor will create DNA in sperm, eggs, or early embryos that will be passed on to future generations.
Upon adoption, the resolution would not change US law. Editing embryos to create children is already illegal in the United States. However, the action of the senators is remarkable, as some members of Congress have recently expressed their willingness to lift the ban on processing embryos that started pregnancies. Scientists in other countries have also announced plans to continue such experiments, and some scientific groups and patient advocates have emphasized how germline processing, while improving technology, could ward off cases of genetic disease.
"Genetic engineering is a powerful technology that has the potential to lead to new therapies for devastating and previously untreatable diseases," Feinstein said in a statement. "As with any new technology, however, there is a possibility of abuse. The international community needs to set standards for genetic research to develop global ethical principles and to prevent unethical researchers from moving to a country with the most relaxed rules.
US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of the UK in May. The task of this commission is to develop a framework for the scientific community that can be used in the examination of possible clinical applications of germ line processing.
It's one of several international efforts that have responded to the announcement of Chinese scientist He Jiankui last year had created the world's first "CRISPR babies": twin girls whose DNA was edited by genome editor CRISPR, when they were still embryos. Scientists around the world condemned him for his ethical and technical shortcomings in pursuing such work, arguing that the technology was not yet ready for clinical use.
Some scientists called for a global moratorium on the clinical applications of germ line processing, but when Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, told STAT last month, the new commissions are not empowering scientists in other countries to do such work hold.
The Senate resolution would also encourage the Department of State Enter into a partnership with international organizations to reach a global consensus on when to consider processing corn for clinical use.
in a statement. "However, there are dangerous and unethical consequences when countries carry out unrestricted and unethical human experiments to advance the science of gene editing. In the further course, it is crucial that the United States leads the way in creating ethical standards for gene editing research. "