The ethical question received attention in recent months following the announcement that a Chinese scientist had gene-edited human embryos. A study this week found that the work he did would have a chance of shortening the twins’ life-span.
NPR: Ban On Genetically Modified Babies Upheld By Congressional Committee
A congressional committee voted Tuesday to continue a federal ban on creating genetically modified babies in the United States. The House Appropriations Committee voted to retain the ban after the prohibition had been lifted last month by a subcommittee. The vote was part of debate over routine funding legislation for the Food and Drug Administration. “This is a prohibition that is accepted by nearly every nation in the world due to the unknown risks,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., during a hearing where the ban was restored. “The risks of harm are real.” (Stein, 6/4)
Stat: Congress Revives Ban On Altering DNA Of Embryos Used For Pregnancies
Lifting the prohibition could have opened the door to clinical trials of babies being made with genetic material from three people or with genomes that had been changed in ways that would be passed on to future generations. The ban has been attached to bills that fund the Food and Drug Administration in the form of an amendment, or rider, since December 2015. But last month, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee dropped the ban from the legislation. (Joseph, 6/4)
Politico Pro: Coons Says Draft Bill Wouldn’t Allow Gene Patenting
A draft bill aiming to broadly reform how patents are granted wouldn’t allow for the patenting of individual, isolated genes, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said today. Critics have warned that the bill would overturn legal precedent preventing gene patents. The draft would eliminate a restriction on patenting broad categories of intellectual property such as “abstract ideas,” “laws of nature” or “natural phenomena.” It would establish a new benchmark involving “specific and practical utility in any field of technology through human intervention.” (Ravindranath, 6/4)
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Source : Kaiser Health