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Gene Editing Video Stirs Talk of Designer Babies, Ethics


This image made from the National Academy of Sciences website on Oct. 2, 2019, shows part of a video of people discussing gene editing and designer babies.

New video discussing gene editing makes waves over designer baby concerns

A new video that shows people casually discussing gene editing and designer babies is making waves because of who posted it: the government-funded group leading efforts to set standards for the ethically dicey science.

The National Academy of Sciences posted the video earlier this week. It also sent a tweet that it removed after criticism arose. The tweet asked, "Do you dream of having a top student or star athlete?" And it said gene editing might eventually make this possible.

Most scientists and the academy itself oppose altering the DNA of embryos to bestow such traits.

Last year, a Chinese researcher's claim to have edited the genes of twin girls was widely denounced and led to new calls for oversight. The academy has formed a scientific panel to consider that.

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