Genome editing is a group of technologies that gives scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA by allowing genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. These technologies are advancing at such a rapid rate that applications that were until now considered to be largely theoretical have become a reality. Genome editing holds great promise for improving human health. In fact, scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to correct faulty genes that cause inherited diseases.
However, there are many ethical concerns and questions surrounding human genome editing.
A very important consideration is whether it is justified to edit germline cells or the genes of an embryo, when these alterations can be passed down to future generations.
How can societal and cultural values can be incorporated into clinical and policy considerations? How can we balance the potential benefits against the risk of unintended harm?
How can this technology be used not only to treat devastating genetic diseases, but also its potential use to alter traits unrelated to health.
Focusing on the ethics surrounding genome editing is highly relevant and necessary. This website will offer the opportunity for people to grapple with the complexities which emerge at the crossroads of science, medicine and ethics.