A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification

Author(s): David Baltimore, Paul Berg, Michael Botchan, Dana Carroll, R. Alta Charo, George Church, Jacob E. Corn, George Q. Daley, Jennifer A. Doudna, Marsha Fenner, Henry T. Greely, Martin Jinek, G. Steven Martin, Edward Penhoet, Jennifer Puck, Samuel H. Sternberg, Jonathan S. Weissman, Keith R. Yamamoto

Publication: Sciencexpress

Abstract: Genome engineering technology offers unparalleled poten-tial for modifying human and nonhuman genomes. In hu-mans, it holds the promise of curing genetic disease, while in other organisms it provides methods to reshape the bio-sphere for the benefit of the environment and human socie-ties. However, with such enormous opportunities come unknown risks to human health and well-being. In January, a group of interested stakeholders met in Napa, California (1), to discuss the scientific, medical, legal, and ethical im-plications of these new prospects for genome biology. The goal was to initiate an informed discussion of the uses of genome engineering technology, and to identify those areas where action is essential to prepare for future develop-ments. The meeting identified immediate steps to take to-ward ensuring that the application of genome engineering technology is performed safely and ethically.