The CRISPR Journal announces the publication of its October 2020 issue. The Journal is dedicated to validating and publishing outstanding research and commentary on all aspects of CRISPR and gene editing, including CRISPR biology, technology, and genome editing, and commentary and debate of key policy, regulatory, and ethical issues affecting the field. The Journal, led by Editor-in-Chief Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD (North Carolina State University) and Executive Editor Dr. Kevin Davies, is published bimonthly in print and online. Visit The CRISPR Journal website for more information.
This press release is copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Its use is granted only for journalists and news media receiving it directly from The CRISPR Journal. For full-text copies of articles or to arrange interviews with Dr. Barrangou, Dr. Davies, authors, or members of the editorial board, contact Kathryn Ryan at the Publisher.
1. Heritable Human Genome Editing: The Community Responds
In September 2020, a major report -- Heritable Human Genome Editing (HHGE) -- was published by the National Academies of Sciences and the UK's Royal Society. The report, triggered by the outrage that accompanied the news of the birth of genetically edited "CRISPR babies" in 2018 -- outlined a narrow translational pathway for the safe, responsible use of human embryo editing.
In this multi-author Perspective, The CRISPR Journal invited 50 experts from the world of genetics, CRISPR, bioethics, law and other areas to share their personal reactions to the HHGE report. Three dozen offered candid comments, which have been collated into this Perspective. Among the experts offering their reactions are Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna, Art Caplan, George Church, Eric Topol, Bob Cook-Deegan, Laura Hercher, Kiran Musunuru, Hank Greely, David Liu, and Feng Zhang. While many applaud the findings of the HHGE commission, several recurring reservations were documented, including lack of ethical considerations, societal consensus, health disparities, and regulatory questions.
Contact: Kevin Davies (The CRISPR Journal)
2. Global Regulation and Policy Landscape of HHGE
In an original research article, Marcy Darnovsky, Francoise Baylis, and colleagues present the most comprehensive survey to date of global laws and regulations regarding hereditary human genome editing (HHGE). The authors surveyed 106 countries, gathering policy documents from 96 of them pertaining to regulations or guidelines for the use of genome editing on early-stage human embryos (or gametes).
Most countries do not have policies that specifically address the use of genetically modified in vitro embryos in laboratory research. 23 countries prohibit this research while 11 permit it. Meanwhile, the authors found that 75 of the 96 countries prohibit the use of heritable genome editing (five countries provide certain exceptions). No country explicitly permits HHGE.
Contact: Marcy Darnovsky (Center for Genetics and Society, Berkeley CA) and Francoise Baylis (Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada)
3. A Pathway for HHGE: An Interview with Dame Kay Davies
Last month, the National Academies/Royal Society commission on Heritable Human Genome Editing (HHGE), co-chaired by two eminent geneticists, Rockefeller University president Rick Lifton and University of Oxford professor Dame Kay Davies, issued its long-awaited report on the path forward for HHGE.
In an exclusive interview in this issue of The CRISPR Journal, commission co-chair Dame Kay Davies offers a glimpse behind the scenes as she discusses how the commission's report was produced. She summarizes the chief recommendations and addresses some of the chief regulatory and ethical concerns that have been raised. (The full interview can be heard as Episode 17 of Guidepost, The CRISPR Journal's flagship podcast series.)
Contact: Kay E. Davies (University of Oxford)