Feng Zhang and Emmanuelle Charpentier, two developers of the CRISPR / Cas genome editing technology, advocated a moratorium on its use in experiments on human embryos for the birth of children without hereditary diseases. Their statement was published by the journal Nature Research.
The reason for this reaction was the experiment of scientist He Jiankui, which changed the CCR5 gene for twins Nana and Lulu. According to him, such intervention should make them sustainable for life.
to HIV infection that their father was diagnosed with. Chinese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Jiu Nanping, said he was shocked by the news of the experiment, since they had been banned in the country since 2003.
The creators of CRISPR / Cas and sixteen other scientists from different countries supported the idea of introducing a moratorium on such experiments for five years. During this time, in their opinion, an expert commission of representatives of several states should be created, which will further monitor the conduct of experiments on the genome. However, they do not intend to hinder research and editing of cells in non-viable embryos.
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