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CRISPR J. 2019 Jun;2:134-142. doi: 10.1089/crispr.2018.0053.

The Human Right to Science and the Regulation of Human Germline Engineering.

Author information

1 Department of History and Social Sciences, Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island.
2 Centre of Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics/Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
3 Department of Public International Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
4 Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California.


There is currently no international consensus on how human germline engineering should be regulated. Existing national legislation fails to provide the governance framework necessary to regulate germline engineering in the CRISPR era. This is an obstacle to scientific and clinical advancements and inconsistent with human rights requirements. To move forward, we suggest that the human right to science is an ideal starting point for building consensus, at the national and international levels, on governing principles that promote responsible scientific and technological advancements. Regulatory frameworks must recognize the international nature of modern germline genome engineering research, the need for shared governance rather than tech-locked prohibitions, and the fact that humans are not their germline.


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