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WHO Panel Announced

The World Health Organization has announced the formation of its committee to develop gene-editing guidelines, NPR reports.

In December, the WHO said it would be putting together a panel to develop guidelines and standards for the use of gene editing and study the ethical and safety issues of such work. That announcement came on the heels of researcher He Jiankui's revelation that he had edited the genomes of twin girls as embryos.

The WHO announced yesterday the members of its 18-member committee, according to NPR. It is being co-chaired by Margaret Hamburg, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, and Edwin Cameron, a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Other members include Robin Lovell-Badge from the Francis Crick Institute, Anne Muigai from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Peking Union Medical College's Zhai Xiaomei.

"The Committee will examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges associated with Human Genome editing," the WHO says in a statement. "The aim will be to advise and make recommendations on appropriate governance mechanisms for Human Genome editing."