Discussion: The Human Genome

Discussion: The Human Genome

Discussion: The Human Genome


Human Genome Editing

What types of editing should be allowed to the human genome? This discussion is prompted by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report titled Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance in February 2017 (the Summary from that report is provided below). While not having the authority to regulate such activities, the publication lays out considerations to guide government regulators and legislators as they establish the uses and parameters for human germline editing.

The current state of human genome editing (with special regard for the CRISPR/Cas9 technology described in the figure below), along with ethical, legal, and regulatory considerations of gene-editing technology, are in flux. The report prefaces the discussion in this way:

Clinical trials using edited human somatic cells are already underway, and more are anticipated. To help direct the use of genome editing toward broadly promoting human well-being, it is important to examine the scientific, ethical, and social issues it raises, and assess the capacity of governance systems to ensure the technologies’ responsible development and use. Doing so also entails articulating the larger principles that should underlie such systems.

Three background articles accompany this paper. The first describes the first successful manipulation of a human embryo using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The second article summarizes a survey of current US attitudes on human genome editing. The third article questions whether human genome editing should occur at all.

NOTE: Prior to beginning this Discussion Board, please view this short YouTube summary of the CRISPR/Cas9 system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pp17E4E-O8


What types of editing should be allowed to the human genome?
What other applications of CRISPR technology can you envision?
Do you foresee any unintended consequences of human or other genome editing?


CRISPR fixes disease gene in viable human embryos 2017.pdf
Human CRISPR Trials Will Happen in 2018.pdf
Human Genome Editing – Science Ethics and Governance 2017.pdf
Should you edit your childrens genes 2016.pdf
Summary NASEM Report pp 1-14 2017.pdf
Summary of Principles and Recommendations NASEM Report pp 181-194.pdf

DIAGRAM and Readings will be attached seperately!

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