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Other Royal Society work on genetic technologies

How can genetic technologies be used?

Due to rapid scientific developments, we now understand more about genetic technologies than ever. Applications range from prevention of inheritable diseases to increasing food production. Genetic technologies have the potential to revolutionise our modern world - however, regulation is key to ensuring safety and consistency. The Royal Society is committed to help ensure safe use of genetic technologies for socially acceptable and agreeable purposes.

Research into genetic technologies is a global endeavour. Research, development and deployment of genetic technologies in one country influences the research context in others. It is therefore imperative that countries work together to develop international norms, protocols and codes of conduct for genetic technologies research. To this end the Royal Society has been working with academies from around the world, including China, the USA and the African Academy of Sciences, to promote the international discussion of genetic technologies. This work is helping to inform national and international regulators as they consider what rules to put in place to govern the use of genetic technologies. 

Human germline genome editing commission

An international commission is being convened by the U.K.’s Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, with the participation of academies of sciences and medicine from around the world. The commission’s aim is to develop principles, criteria and standards for the clinical use of genome editing of the human germline, should it be considered to be acceptable by society.

Find out more about the commission.

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