A group of European scientists has launched a new group called the Association for Responsible Research and Innovation in Genome Editing (ARRIGE) to provide researchers with guidance on the ethical use of genome editing, Science reports. The group had a kick-off meeting in Paris last week.
In a commentary published in Transgenic Research in July 2017, 19 researchers announced the creation of what they called a "European Steering Committee" that would assess the risks and benefits of gene editing. They said the ultimate goal would be to inform legilation at the EU level and at the level of each individual European country. They have since changed that idea, creating ARRIGE to be a global association of not just researchers but also patient advocates, NGOs, industry, and others, neuroscientist Hervé Chneiweiss of French biomedical research agency INSERM tells Science.
And rather than just assessing the situation and then disbanding, as so many of these types of groups tend to do, ARRIGE will be permanent. "Most reports state what the current scientific situation is, and what solutions for the near future could be, but nothing happens after that. We want to go beyond that, we want to create something practical," Lluís Montoliu of the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid and a member of the ARRIGE steering committee tells Science. ARRIGE could draft procedures and guidelines for the assessment of genome-editing projects, and other similar initiatives.