Going Germline: Mitochondrial Replacement as a Guide to Genome Editing image

Cell, February 25, 2016, Vol. 164, Issue 5
By Eli Y. Adashi & I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

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Mitochondrial replacement (MR) serves as a crucial test case and learning guide for the scientific, ethical, and regulatory challenges of future reproductive breakthroughs. The lessons learned from the regulatory review process of MR over the last decade promise to enrich the emerging dialog over genome editing.

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Concerns over the prospect of germline modification of the human genome have recently been heightened by dramatic advances in genome editing technology and by a widely publicized attempt to edit the genome of non-viable human zygotes (Jinek et al., 2012 and Liang et al., 2015). These well-placed concerns have reignited the debate on the very notion of human germline gene therapy in general and germline genome editing in particular. What is more, these concerns have given rise to a structured discourse on the “scientific, medical, and ethical considerations” of human gene editing under the leadership of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. [...]

bioethics biotechnology health law policy i. glenn cohen regulation reproductive rights reproductive technologies