Van Andel Institute shares the deep concern voiced by the international scientific community over recent reports of gene-editing in human embryos, which reportedly occurred in total opposition to ethical and scientific standards.
CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful scientific tool with great potential to treat disease; however, at this time, there simply is not enough pre-clinical, peer-reviewed evidence to justify its use in humans. This is of particular concern given the unknown consequences of editing the human germline. Much more work is needed to ensure the safety and efficacy of gene-editing-based therapies. Open and extensive dialog with the public, the scientific community, policymakers and many others also is critical.
Furthermore, it is imperative that appropriate regulatory frameworks be put in place to ensure sufficient oversight and to prevent improper use of this technology.
Experiments like this breach public trust and could seriously hamper use of a technology that has greatly advanced our ability to conduct research and that holds immense promise as a way to one day potentially prevent and treat disease.