Are we ready for genome editing in human embryos for clinical purposes
Published on May 1, 2019in European Journal of Medical Genetics2.02
· DOI :10.1016/j.ejmg.2019.103682
Abstract Perhaps the two most significant pioneering biomedical discoveries with immediate clinical implications during the past forty years have been the advent of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and the genetics revolution. ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection and preimplantation genetic testing, has resulted in the birth of more than 8 million children, and the pioneer of IVF, Professor Bob Edwards, was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize. The genetics revolution has resulted in our genomes being sequenced and many of the molecular mechanisms understood, and technologies for genomic editing have been developed. With the combination of nearly routine ART protocols for healthy conceptions together with almost error-free, inexpensive and simple methods for genetic modification, the question “ Are we ready for genome editing in human embryos for clinical purposes? ” was debated at the 5th congress on controversies in preconception, preimplantation and Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis, in collaboration with the Ovarian Club Meeting, in November 2018 in Paris. The co-authors each presented scientific, medical and bioethical backgrounds, and the debate was chaired by Professor Alan Handyside. In this paper, we consider whether genome editing is safe and ethical. We conclude that we are currently not ready for genome editing to be used in human embryos for clinical purposes, and we call for a global debate to determine if and when this technology could be used in ART.