School of Law

Professor Richard Ashcroft lends his academic expertise to comment on genetic editing for The National

28 December 2018

Claims emerged that twin girls with edited genes had been born in China, a first-of-its-kind for the world. The announcement by the Shenzhen-based researcher, He Jiankui, of the girls' birth has yet to be backed up by a scientific paper or to be reviewed by other academics, so there is no independent confirmation. But his revelations have stirred up huge debate. Gene therapy has a three-decade history of trials and is the subject of regulatory protocols understood worldwide. This is not the case with germline gene editing, notes Professor Richard Ashcroft, a deputy editor of the journal Medical Ethics and a Professor of Bioethics at Queen Mary University of London. He said: “The embryo that has been created will bear the risk, but won't have any knowledge of what the risk is. We may not have any idea of what the risk is.” Click here to read the whole article.