According to the website of the American journal Science, an international committee of multi-national scientific research institutions issued a report on the 3rd, the genetic human genome editing (HHGE) is not yet up to the relevant standards for safe and effective application of human beings, countries should decide whether to approve such technologies for clinical application, should be widely discussed and strictly monitored.
The International Committee, called the International Committee for the Clinical Application of Genome Editing in human Reproduction, is composed of 18 representatives from 10 national scientific institutions, including the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society.
Once the genomes of human embryos have been edited, they should not be used for fertility unless there is definitive evidence that precise genome changes can lead to reliable results and do not lead to unexpected changes, the report said. At present, no genome editing technology, including CRISPR technology, can meet this standard.
Genome editing is the insertion, deletion, or replacement of DNA (deoxybonucleic acid) fragments in a particular gene. In theory, genome editing can alter specific genetic characteristics, thus not only modifying embryonic genes, eliminating genetic diseases, but also enhancing physiological characteristics, but this “design baby” involves ethical and technical issues – the main danger of editing human embryos is that there will be unexpected “off-target effects” and these DNA changes cannot be detected between the embryos before they are implanted into the mother.
The report categorizes the potential uses of HHGE and creates a level 6 structure based on risk. If a country decides to approve the use of HHGE technology, the report says, it should initially limit it to the prevention of severe single-gene genetic diseases, and such technology should only be considered if there are no other options. In addition, the report provides basic guidance on HHGE technology regulation at the national and international levels.
Committee co-chair Kay Davies said: “More research is needed to verify the effectiveness of genome editing techniques applied to human embryos to ensure that they can be accurately modified without off-target effects. “
In addition, the report calls for the establishment of an international “scientific advisory group” to assess HHGE’s proposed use, provide regular updates to relevant technologies, and assess what would happen if edited embryos were implanted into the mother’s body. It also recommends the establishment of an international mechanism that will allow clinicians or researchers to report on their plans or use of HHGE.