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Global experts set out pathway to human gene-editing

International panel says technology first needs to prove its safety amid actions of ‘rogue’ researchers

An international panel of experts has cautiously opened the door to the future use of gene-editing in humans, while warning that existing technologies are not yet reliable enough to modify unborn babies.

The International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing was set up in the wake of explosive claims in 2018 from researcher He Jiankui that he had edited the genomes of twin girls to make them resistant to HIV infection. Such use of these nascent technologies was widely condemned as unethical by the research community, and in December 2019 Chinese state media reported that He had been jailed for three years.

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