Nov 26, 2018

CRISPR co-inventors warn about editing embryos

A researcher watches the CRISPR process. Photo: Gregor Fischer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Following the claims that a Chinese scientist has used CRISPR to create genetically modified twins, the co-inventors of the gene-editing tool, Feng Zhang and Jennifer Doudna, released separate statements that urged caution and called for a moratorium on editing the genes of embryos.

Why it matters: Feng's and Doudna's concerns mirror those of other scientists and bioethicists, namely that the Chinese experiment is not transparent and that gene-editing standards should be set before babies' DNA is altered.

What they're saying: Feng asked for a full "moratorium on implantation of edited embryos ... until we have come up with a thoughtful set of safety requirements first," according to MIT Technology Review.

  • Doudna said in a statement the claims have not been verified in peer-reviewed journals, but if the Chinese CRISPR experiment were confirmed, scientists should "confine the use of gene editing in human embryos to settings where a clear unmet medical need exists, and where no other medical approach is a viable option."

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Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

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Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized federal police in a tweet Monday night for using munitions earlier in the day "on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of (DC Police Department) officers more difficult." "Shameful!" she added as she urged residents to go home and stay safe.