CRISPR inventor calls for pause in editing heritable genes

Professor Jennifer Doudna in a lab setting.

A three-day international summit on the ethics of making permanent, hereditary changes in the human genome was held in December 2015, in Washington, DC. Berkeley professor Jennifer Doudna, the inventor of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, organized a preliminary meeting in Napa, CA, and advocated for the follow-up meeting.

The conference, held at the National Academy of Sciences, was co-sponsored by the National Academy of Medicine and co-hosted with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society. The summit brought together experts from around the world to discuss the scientific, ethical and governance issues associated with human gene-editing research.