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Ethical issues of CRISPR technology and gene editing through the lens of solidarity.
Br Med Bull. 2017 06 01; 122(1):17-29.BM

Abstract

Background

The avalanche of commentaries on CRISPR-Cas9 technology, a bacterial immune system modified to recognize any short DNA sequence, cut it out, and insert a new one, has rekindled hopes for gene therapy and other applications and raised criticisms of engineering genes in future generations.

Sources of data

This discussion draws on articles that emphasize ethics, identified partly through PubMed and Google, 2014-2016.

Areas of agreement

CRISPR-Cas9 has taken the pace and prospects for genetic discovery and applications to a high level, stoking anticipation for somatic gene engineering to help patients. We support a moratorium on germ line manipulation.

Areas of controversy

We place increased emphasis on the principle of solidarity and the public good. The genetic bases of some diseases are not thoroughly addressable with CRISPR-Cas9. We see no new ethical issues, compared with gene therapy and genetic engineering in general, apart from the explosive rate of findings. Other controversies include eugenics, patentability and unrealistic expectations of professionals and the public.

Growing points

Biggest issues are the void of research on human germ cell biology, the appropriate routes for oversight and transparency, and the scientific and ethical areas of reproductive medicine.

Areas timely for developing research

The principle of genomic solidarity and priority on public good should be a lens for bringing clarity to CRISPR debates. The valid claim of genetic exceptionalism supports restraint on experimentation in human germ cells, given the trans-generational dangers and the knowledge gap in germ cell biology.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Section of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Suite 12100, 1200 Children's Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University, 5849 University Avenue, Room C-312, CRC Bldg, PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2.Department of Human Genetics, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, 740 Avenue Dr. Penfield, Suite 5200, Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3A 0G1.Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2 Block MD11, Clinical Research Centre, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117576, Singapore.Faculty of Science, Department of Philosophy and Science Studies, Radboud UniversityNijmegen, P.O. Box 9010, NL-6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands.School of Law, University of Manchester, Williamson Building-2.13, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28334154

Citation

Mulvihill, John J., et al. "Ethical Issues of CRISPR Technology and Gene Editing Through the Lens of Solidarity." British Medical Bulletin, vol. 122, no. 1, 2017, pp. 17-29.
Mulvihill JJ, Capps B, Joly Y, et al. Ethical issues of CRISPR technology and gene editing through the lens of solidarity. Br Med Bull. 2017;122(1):17-29.
Mulvihill, J. J., Capps, B., Joly, Y., Lysaght, T., Zwart, H. A. E., & Chadwick, R. (2017). Ethical issues of CRISPR technology and gene editing through the lens of solidarity. British Medical Bulletin, 122(1), 17-29. https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldx002
Mulvihill JJ, et al. Ethical Issues of CRISPR Technology and Gene Editing Through the Lens of Solidarity. Br Med Bull. 2017 06 1;122(1):17-29. PubMed PMID: 28334154.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Ethical issues of CRISPR technology and gene editing through the lens of solidarity. AU - Mulvihill,John J, AU - Capps,Benjamin, AU - Joly,Yann, AU - Lysaght,Tamra, AU - Zwart,Hub A E, AU - Chadwick,Ruth, AU - ,, PY - 2016/08/27/received PY - 2017/01/30/accepted PY - 2017/3/24/pubmed PY - 2018/4/20/medline PY - 2017/3/24/entrez KW - CRISPR KW - ethics KW - gene editing KW - genetic engineering KW - germ cell mutation KW - solidarity SP - 17 EP - 29 JF - British medical bulletin JO - Br. Med. Bull. VL - 122 IS - 1 N2 - Background: The avalanche of commentaries on CRISPR-Cas9 technology, a bacterial immune system modified to recognize any short DNA sequence, cut it out, and insert a new one, has rekindled hopes for gene therapy and other applications and raised criticisms of engineering genes in future generations. Sources of data: This discussion draws on articles that emphasize ethics, identified partly through PubMed and Google, 2014-2016. Areas of agreement: CRISPR-Cas9 has taken the pace and prospects for genetic discovery and applications to a high level, stoking anticipation for somatic gene engineering to help patients. We support a moratorium on germ line manipulation. Areas of controversy: We place increased emphasis on the principle of solidarity and the public good. The genetic bases of some diseases are not thoroughly addressable with CRISPR-Cas9. We see no new ethical issues, compared with gene therapy and genetic engineering in general, apart from the explosive rate of findings. Other controversies include eugenics, patentability and unrealistic expectations of professionals and the public. Growing points: Biggest issues are the void of research on human germ cell biology, the appropriate routes for oversight and transparency, and the scientific and ethical areas of reproductive medicine. Areas timely for developing research: The principle of genomic solidarity and priority on public good should be a lens for bringing clarity to CRISPR debates. The valid claim of genetic exceptionalism supports restraint on experimentation in human germ cells, given the trans-generational dangers and the knowledge gap in germ cell biology. SN - 1471-8391 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28334154/Ethical_issues_of_CRISPR_technology_and_gene_editing_through_the_lens_of_solidarity_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/bmb/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/bmb/ldx002 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -