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Genome editing in human reproduction – Findings of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics inquiry

Genome editing techniques such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system raise the possibility of editing the genome of a human embryo, sperm or egg cell in order to influence the genetic characteristics of the future person. The use of genome editing in embryos for assisted reproduction in humans is currently prohibited by law, but is permitted in some research involving human embryos.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics will publish the findings of its independent inquiry on the ethical issues raised by the prospect of ‘heritable genome editing interventions’ on 17 July 2018.

A roundup accompanied this briefing.



Hugh Whittall, Director, Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Prof Karen Yeung, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group, Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics at the School of Law/School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

Prof Joyce Harper, Member of the Nuffield Council Working Group and Reader, Professor of Human Genetics and Embryology, UCL Institute for Women’s Health

Prof Jackie Leach-Scully, Member of the Nuffield Council Working Group, Professor of Social Ethics & Bioethics, PEALS (Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences) Research Centre, Newcastle University


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