WHO’s roadmap on genome editing

A multi-disciplinary panel of 18 experts from all over the world, a two years long consultation, over 150 pages. The much-awaited report of the World Health Organization on human genome editing was delivered on July 12 and is divided into three parts: A framework for governance, Recommendations, and Position Paper. While not legally binding, it is expected to influence both governments and the scientific community, by offering a roadmap based on widely shared ethical principles and usable policy tools.

Particularly interesting is part 5 of the “Framework for governance” document, discussing seven hypothetical scenarios to show how the various elements come together in practice: Clinical trials for sickle-cell disease in Africa; Clinical trials for Huntington disease; Unscrupulous entrepreneurs and clinics offering somatic editing; Non-heritable genome and epigenetic editing to enhance athletic ability; Heritable human genome editing for reproduction; Unscrupulous entrepreneurs and clinics offering heritable editing in assisted reproduction; Prenatal (in utero) somatic human genome editing for cystic fibrosis.

To learn more, see Nature‘s and STAT‘s coverage.

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