What do the words multiplex, made-to-order, and moratorium all have in common? If you said they all begin with ‘m’ youd be correct. But theres a deeper connection that blends together the worlds of genetic engineering and science fiction. Genetic engineering has been made easier by the use of the CRISPR-Cas9 machine, an invention that can be used to insert, remove, and change DNA in any biological organism, including human embryos. This opens the scientific door to a plethora of opportunities to treat and prevent diseases.
But in the United States, UK, and China the Big Three global leaders in gene manipulation the question on the table is: should this be allowed? Members from the triad met in Washington DC in early December to discuss the ramifications and ethics of moving forward in this field of study. One might think that great strides and regulations had burst forth from this grand moratorium. What actually happened is that the moratorium committee issued a statement urging the Big Three to take the lead in discussing the uses of genetic research, influencing policymakers, and formulating guidelines. It seems this moratorium was a cutting edge chance to kick the discussion can down the road a little farther. FULL REPORT