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'Matter of Time'

There's a patchwork of rules and regulations from country to country for genetic modifications of human embryos, such as changes made using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing approach, Nature News reports.

For instance, in the US, federal funds may not be used to modify human embryos, but there isn't an outright ban, while in the UK the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority may allow human genome editing for research purpose, but it's not allowed in the clinic. Other countries, like Japan, China, India, and Ireland, have unenforceable guidelines restricting such modifications, Nature News adds

There is, it notes, a push to develop international guidelines that lawmakers can use as a template for national laws — the US National Academy plans to hold a summit in December and generate such recommendations.

But, Nature News says such work may take place anyway as researchers push the boundaries. "No one so far has declared an interest in producing live babies with edited genomes, and initial experiments would suggest that it is not yet safe," it says. "But some suspect that it is only a matter of time."