The United Nations requests a registry of human gene editing projects


New rules

The World Health Organization (WHO), a UN agency, is trying to determine how scientists could responsibly alter human genomes in their laboratories – to prevent the next He Jiankui from achieving unpublished genetic experiments on human subjects.

In particular, WHO announced Tuesday that an advisory committee was not recommending a ban on gene editing, but said researchers needed to register with the government before starting an experiment.

Promote transparency

Many of the organization's recommendations reflect how clinical research is currently managed in the United States, where scientists are required to seek prior regulatory approval and to publish updates of their studies in the United States. a database accessible to the public.

"Gene publishing is an incredible promise for health, but it also involves ethical and medical risks," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Big difference

The scientist stresses that the WHO has reached conclusions different from those of many scientists who have asked for a temporary halt to research on the editing of human genes, so that the leaders of the sector can find the most responsible way and the most ethical to go from the front. But that does not mean that the WHO wants scientists to throw caution on their shoulders.

"The committee agrees that it is irresponsible for the moment that anyone is pursuing clinical applications of human germline genome editing," said committee co-chair , Margaret Hamburg, at a press conference attended by The New York Times.

These recommendations may change, however. The group of experts will continue its research on human gene editing over the next two years, consulting with other experts and leaders before proposing a definitive set of international standards.

READ MORE: A WHO panel asks for a registry of gene editing research in humans[[[[The scientist]


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