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‌‌‌Gene-editing summit supports some research in human embryos

人类基因编辑国际峰会支持部分人类胚胎研究

Three-day meeting calls for further discussions on modifications to the gene pool.

历时三天的人类基因编辑国际峰会呼吁人们对基因库修饰展开更加深入的讨论。

Gene-editing technology should not be used to modify human embryos that are intended for use in establishing a pregnancy, an international summit declared in a statement issued on 3 December.

12月3日,人类基因编辑国际峰会发表声明称:基因编辑技术不得应用于准备建立妊娠的人类胚胎中。

The International Summit on Human Gene Editing also called for cautious development of medical applications of the technology that cannot be passed on to future generations — such as correction of mutations causing sickle-cell disease or modification of immune cells to target cancer.

该声明呼吁:在保证不遗传给下一代的前提下,人们应谨慎地在医疗领域发展基因编辑技术的应用,例如矫正镰刀型细胞贫血症突变基因以及修饰抗癌免疫细胞。

But the summit statement, authored by a 12-member organizing committee, cautioned that many technical and ethical issues should be settled before anyone attempts so-called ‘germline’ editing — the deletion of a gene prenatally in an effort to erase an inherited disease from a person and prevent them from passing it to their offspring.

但这份由12名组委会成员共同起草的峰会声明同时也警告:在尝试任何所谓“生殖细胞”基因编辑之前必须首先解决众多技术和伦理问题。这种“生殖细胞”基因编辑是指通过产前基因删除使个体自身消除某种遗传疾病并防止这些疾病通过基因遗传给后代。

“It would be irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing unless and until (i) the relevant safety and efficacy issues have been resolved … and (ii) there is broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application,” the statement said.

声明写到:“除非相关安全和效率问题得以解决并且社会对所提应用的恰当性达成广泛共识,否则任何在临床中开展生殖细胞基因编辑应用的行为都是不负责任的。”

The organizing committee stopped short of calling for a ban on editing human embryos and germ cells for basic research. “We don't want to slam the door on this idea forever,” said biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley.

组委会尚未呼吁禁止人类胚胎和生殖细胞编辑的基础研究。来自加州大学伯克利分校的生物化学家Jennifer Doudna表示:“我们无意于把这一想法永远拒之门外。”

The three-day international summit took place at the the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine in Washington DC. The meeting was jointly hosted by the US academies, the UK Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

本次为期三天的国际峰会在美国国家科学院举行,由美国科学院、英国皇家学会和中国科学院联合主办。

Some ethicists and a few scientists at the summit expressed fear that even altering embryos that aren’t intended for implantation will pave the way toward germline editing. And some worried that public opposition to embryo research could cause a backlash against use of genome editing as therapy. “I don’t want even a shadow of (a shadow of原文有两个a shadow of) a concern about the germline stuff to fall on efforts to treat HIV or [beta-thalassemia] or sickle cell,” said Fyodor Urnov, a scientist at Sangamo BioSciences in Richmond, California.

与会部分伦理学家和少数科学家表达了这样的担忧,他们认为即便改变胚胎的目的并不在于移植也依旧会为生殖细胞编辑铺平道路。同时,有人担心公众对胚胎研究的反对可能会导致他们强烈抵制将基因编辑用于医疗。来自Sangamo 生物科学公司的科学家Fyodor Urnov说:“我不想在担忧生殖细胞这类东西的阴影之下致力于治疗HIV、地中海贫血或者镰刀型红细胞。”

But others saw an embryo research ban as unrealistic: even if some researchers agree to abstain from editing embryos, or if some countries ban it outright, others will continue the work, argued George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “You create a nexus for your worst nightmares,” he said.

但其他人则表示禁止胚胎研究并不现实。哈佛医学院遗传学家George Church认为,即便一些科研人员同意放弃备胎编辑,或者一些国家完全禁止胚胎编辑,但其他人仍然会继续这一工作。他说:“你为自己最糟糕的几个噩梦创造了一种联系。”

The work now continues: over the next year, scientists and ethicists from the three hosting countries will convene to examine issues raised at the meeting. Their consensus report is scheduled to be released in late 2016.

这项工作仍在继续:在接下来的一年里,来自三个主办国的科学家和伦理学家将会召开会议研究此次峰会提出的各种相关问题。他们的一致性报告预计将在2016年末发布。

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