Governance of Human Genome/Genetic Modification
In leading scientific jurisdictions, genome-editing techniques may be applied in research but not for therapeutic (or clinical) purposes. In a few countries, a human embryo may be created solely for the purposes of research (to study a genome-editing technique, for instance), provided certain conditions are met and requisite approvals are obtained. Any such research should not extend beyond 14 days from the time that the embryo was created. These requirements apply mutatis mutandis to the use of genome-editing techniques to modify the genome of human oocytes and embryos. Owing to an international consensus-based moratorium that has been imposed, human germline genetic modification is not allowed in the clinical setting. However, it is less clear if such procedures could be applied in a clinical trial. This presentation sets out the critical features of a governance framework that applies to human genome/genetic modification, and will also indicate how it is expected to change in the foreseeable future.