Editing the genome requires global governance, Andrés Ortega (Elcano Institute)

Scientific progress is posing problems that hitherto pertained to the realm of dreams or nightmares but are now part of reality. An instance is the editing of human genes, something the recently-discovered technique known as CRISPR enables with the utmost precision and increasing inexpensiveness. Every month there are reports of new breakthroughs in the field, with a race breaking out in which China and the UK, two relatively lightly regulated countries, have taken the lead alongside the US. The social, economic and ethical (positive and negative) consequences of genetic editing, especially when it can be transferred to descendants, are huge. They call for international regulations and a global governance that do not exist.

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