Submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on Genome Editing

12 February 2016

The Society has responded to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics inquiry into Genome Editing, providing an overview of the technique and its applications.

The submission highlights:

  1. Genome editing is a valuable technique for biological research to improve our understanding of biological processes and genetic conditions, and possibly it will be used in the future in the treatment and prevention of disease.
  2. The speed, ease of use and accuracy of the new gene editing techniques may raise new issues as it becomes feasible to use them for a wider range of applications.
  3. Public views should inform how gene editing techniques are used in practice, and how these applications are regulated to earn and maintain public trust.
  4. The ethical questions raised by genome editing should be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the genes being modified and the context in which they are applied.