TS Picks: April 28, 2015

Embryo editing edition

Apr 28, 2015
Tracy Vence

WIKIMEDIA, RWJMS IVF PROGRAM


Reactions to news that a team of researchers had used CRISPR genome-editing tools to cleave a gene in human zygotes were mixed:
 

  • “In the wake of the first ever report that scientists have edited the genomes of human embryos, experts cannot agree on whether the work was ethical. They also disagree over how close the methods are to being an option for treating disease.” — Nature News, April 24
     
  • At his blog, Paul Knoepfler of the University of California, Davis, rounded up some concerns, including that the paper appeared to have been accepted by Protein & Cell within two days of submission. (Hat tip: John Borghi)
     
  • In an interview with Nature News, the study’s lead author Junjiu Huang of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, last week (April 22) said his team submitted its work to both Science and Nature, but both rejected the manuscript on ethical grounds. At her blog, science writer Kelly Hills opined: “Any time any ‘Top Journal’ says ‘we’re concerned about the ethics’ you should actually read ‘we don’t want to be involved in any mainstream media controversy.’”