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The Wall Street Journal: Scientific report opens door to gene editing

Clinical trials involving the editing of genes in sperm, eggs and early-stage embryos could be permitted under certain conditions, the National Academies of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine said in a long-awaited report.

Once technical questions are resolved, clinical trials could start with extensive oversight, the report said. But the report urged limiting trials to the “most compelling circumstances,” such as when no other treatment exists, the condition is very serious, and the genes in question are well known to cause a particular disease.

Gene editing offers the possibility of treating many diseases, and there are already trials or advanced research under way to use the techniques to try to cure individuals with HIV, sickle cell anemia and cancer.

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