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Got to Get Ahead

Japan should redouble its efforts into gene editing, the Japan News writes.

It notes that there are few researchers in Japan working on gene editing and that government funding into the field is scare. At the same time, it adds that the US, Europe, and China are moving ahead with studies into, for instance, treating leukemia or AIDs with gene-editing approaches or into modifying farm animals to be meatier or crops to be disease resistant.

"Unless there is a solid technological base in Japan, there will arise a need for paying a hefty sum of royalties to other countries when undergoing advanced medical treatments," the Japan News writes. "It is necessary to support the cultivation of human resources and the expansion of research fields."

While it also cautions that the field comes with safety and bioethics concerns, the paper adds that those problems may be addressed as the technology is improved. It notes that gene-editing research of human embryos is going ahead in China and the UK. "Japan should expedite its efforts to create related rules by referring to these examples," the Japan News adds.