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National Academies Name Human Gene Editing Advisory Group

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine have named an advisory group for their human gene editing initiative.

The group consists of David Baltimore, Paul Berg, Alta Charo, Jennifer Doudna, Diane Griffin, Richard Hynes, Peter Kim, Robin Lovell-Badge, Edward Penhoet, Maxine Singer, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Nancy Wexler, Keith Yamamoto, and Xu Zhihong.

They are responsible for identifying issues related to human gene editing to be discussed at an international summit held later this year and addressed by a multidisciplinary study. In a statement, the academies said the group will "identify and gather information and advice from the scientific and medical communities that will enable the academies to guide and inform researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the public."

Last month, the NAS and Institute of Medicine announced an initiative to guide decision making related to the clinical use of gene editing technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9. The initiative aims to address ethical, legal, scientific, and other issues raised by the possibility of altering human genes with the technologies.

Many of the advisory group members have already voiced their concerns about human germline editing with CRISPR/Cas9 and other genome editing technologies and have called for wide-ranging discussion between experts as well as with the general public.