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About Inheritable Genetic Modification


The Basic Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Arguments Pro & Con

3-Person Embryos

Inheritable genetic modification (IGM, also called germline engineering) means changing the genes passed on to future generations. The genetic changes would be made in eggs, sperm or early embryos; modified genes would appear not only in the person who developed from that gamete or embryo, but also in all succeeding generations. IGM has not been tried in humans. It would be by far the most consequential type of genetic modification as it would open the door to irreversibly altering the human species.

Proposals for inheritable genetic modification in humans combine techniques involving in vitro fertilization (IVF), gene transfer, stem cells and research cloning.



Failures and Risks in Biosafety Regulationby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Accidents at CDC and elsewhere point up the difficulties in regulating potentially dangerous releases of genetically modified organisms, which scientists are, quite responsibly, discussing.
Three Person IVF Plans 'Progress' in UKby Smitha MundasadBBCJuly 22nd, 2014"Looking back 15 years from now in the midst of a designer baby marketplace, people will see this as the moment when the crucial ethical line was crossed."
UK Move Toward “3-Person IVF” is Risky and Premature, Says Public Interest Group[Press statement]July 22nd, 2014The UK Department of Health has announced it will press ahead with efforts to gain Parliamentary approval for three-person IVF.
Procedure to Create Babies with Three People's DNA Could be Legalised in April [UK]by Ian SampleThe Guardian July 22nd, 2014The Department of Health will press ahead with regulations on mitochondrial transfer after public consultation, but several hurdles remain.
Safety Concerns Remain Over Three-Person IVFby Ted MorrowThe GuardianJuly 22nd, 2014There is a lack of data from species more closely related to humans – a gap in our knowledge that would be wise to fill before proceeding to clinical trials.
A Paragraph in Slow Motion: Three-Person IVF in The New York Timesby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJuly 10th, 2014A close look at the rhetoric used to justify experimental technologies, and particularly at the way reasonable objections are dismissed.
Mom's Environment During Pregnancy can Affect her Grandchildrenby Jocelyn KaiserScienceJuly 10th, 2014The finding offers some of the strongest evidence yet that a mother’s environment during pregnancy can alter the expression of DNA in ways that are passed on to future generations.
We're Already Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Olga KhazanThe AtlanticJuly 3rd, 2014Even today, parents are selecting for the traits they want in their offspring. But how far should the genetic tailoring go?
Should We Design Our Babies? [VIDEO] [With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]The Aspen InstituteJuly 2nd, 2014At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Marcy Darnovsky and Nita A. Farahany discuss the possibility and implications of "designer babies."
The Brave New World of Three-Parent I.V.F.[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kim TingleyNew York Times MagazineJune 27th, 2014The historic nature of the moment has turned the technique into a symbol, a red line separating humanity from a dystopian or progressive future, depending on how you look at it.
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