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Scientists soften on DNA editing of human eggs, sperm, embryos - report

A file photo of a DNA double helix in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute to ReutersBy Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Although not ready yet, powerful gene editing tools may one day be used on human embryos, eggs and sperm to remove genes that cause inherited diseases, according to a report by U.S. scientists and ethicists released on Tuesday. The report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine said scientific advances make gene editing in human reproductive cells "a realistic possibility that deserves serious consideration.” The statement signals a softening in approach over the use of the technology known as CRISPR-Cas9, which has opened up new frontiers in genetic medicine because of its ability to modify genes quickly and efficiently. In December 2015, scientists and ethicists at an international meeting held at the NAS in Washington said it would be "irresponsible" to use gene editing technology in human embryos for therapeutic purposes, such as to correct genetic diseases, until safety and efficacy issues are resolved.




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