Scientists should be able to edit humans’ DNA: panel says

Scientists should be able to edit humans’ DNA: panel says

U.S. government should allow scientists to alter people’s DNA to prevent serious and strongly heritable disorder and diseases, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine recommended.

However, the panel stressed that tinkering with Humans’ genes to alter or enhance traits like intelligence, strength and beauty must remain off-limits.

Like many other countries, editing humanity’s future by making alterations in genes in people’s reproductive cells is illegal in the U.S. any such move has been opposed on ethical grounds as it may pose unforeseen effects and moral dilemmas.

The potentially revolutionary technique CRISPR-Cas9 makes gene editing much more precise and straightforward. The panel acknowledged in the report that altering heritable DNA in sperms, eggs and early embryos is a realistic possibility which deserves serious consideration.

Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, a bioethicist who wasn’t on the panel, said, “What they’re [panel members] saying is, let’s start the conversation, maintain ethical structures along the way, and hopefully do this the right way.”

Chinese scientists have already launched a trial that uses the controversial CRISPR-Cas9 technology to treat lung cancer. American scientists are concerned that ethical reservations in the U.S. will put the nation at a disadvantage.