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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Two genetic technologies capable of making heritable changes to the human genome have revived interest in, and in some quarters a very familiar panic concerning, so-called germline interventions. These technologies are most recently the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to edit genes in non-viable IVF zygotes and Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT). The possibility of using either of these techniques in humans has encountered the most violent hostility and suspicion. Here, we counter the stance of the US NIH and its supporters by showing that differing global moralities are free to exist unimpeded under international biolaw regimes, which do not in any way represent unified opinion against such technologies. Furthermore, we suggest a more rational approach to evaluating them through analysis of similar technologies which have caused past controversy.

Keywords: human embryos, germ-line modification, gene editing, Crispr/Cas9, mitochondrial replacement therapy, MRT

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