Washington D.C., Jun 27, 2020 / 11:00 am
In the wake of a gene-editing experiment gone wrong, the president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center said that the Church must stand firm against the unborn being "sacrificed on the altar of scientific research."
Medium's science publication OneZero reported last week that scientists in the United Kingdom recently conducted an experiment where they deleted a gene from human embryos using the CRISPR technique. They later realized the edited embryos also contained significant unintended edits that could lead to birth defects or other major medical issues later in life. The embryos were subsequently destroyed.
"There's no sugarcoating this," Fyodor Urnov, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, told OneZero. "This is a restraining order for all genome editors to stay the living daylights away from embryo editing."
"It's really terrible, what they're talking about, because gene editing for embryos, because it's germline changes, meaning that if these children survive, their children, this will be passed on, it's like changing the biology of the human being, the DNA of human beings," he said.