PBS affiliate, Houston Public Media published recently a news piece about the recent report of two professors—one affiliated with Rice University and the other with Southern University of Science and Technology in China—who edited the genes of twin girls to protect them from acquiring HIV from their HIV-positive father. Rice issued a statement noting the professor’s work in gene-editing was not known and is “inconsistent with ethical norms of the scientific community.”
Janet Malek, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine stated that many in the medical community are upset by this use of gene editing because its safety and efficacy are not yet known. The McGovern Center’s Rebecca Lunstroth, JD, further noted that there may indeed be unforeseen consequences to this practice. For instance, gene editing creates possibilities for eradicating disease and enhancing people. Ultimately, Lunstroth explains, it is a question of who makes that decision.