Genome editing in medicine - where are we?

As we discussed in a recent blog, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's ambitious and wide-reaching inquiry into genomics and genome editing is examining the role that genomic technologies can play in health, agriculture and the environment. The PHG Foundation's written response to the inquiry was one of many sent, and the variety of organisations and individuals responding resul...

The dos and don’ts of non-invasive prenatal testing

A new report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics supports the use of a non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) technique recently approved for use as part of the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme in pregnancy, as well as setting out some concerns surrounding current commercial provision and potential future uses of testing.

Genome editing: promising, but beware the hype

Genome editing - hot or not? View the full infographic here

Is a synthetic human genome project a step too far?

Debate continues to rage following the leaked news that scientific experts had convened a ‘secret’ meeting to discuss plans to create an artificial human genome – the ‘next chapter in our understanding of the blueprint of life’. The idea appears to be the brainchild of renowned geneticist George Church and colleagues, building on progress in genetic engineering and sy...

Genome editing moves into the spotlight

The PHG Foundation has submitted a response to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics consultation on genome editing. 

Patient empowerment, prenatal testing and abortion

The rapidly expanding capacity to diagnose serious chromosomal defects via early, safe non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is arguably one of the most exciting medical developments of recent years. Progress has been very fast in the years since the PHG Foundation published the first report to examine the potential health service implications of NIPT in 2009. That report outlined looked for...

Does bioethics help or hinder research?

Steven Pinker, the noted Harvard professor of psychology, recently published in the Boston Globe an opinion piece on the subject of bioethics. This was followed up by an interview published on the Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog. The common (and perhaps restrained) view of the first piece is that it is ’provocative’.

Genome editing: who calls the shots?

Arguments over who whether limits should be placed on the use of modern genetic modification techniques (and if so, what, and who should decide?) are accompanying intense ethical and related discussions.

Towards therapeutic mitochondrial gene editing?

Two recurring themes in the news so far this year - mitochondrial transfer techniques and gene editing – have converged, with the first published attempts at gene editing of mitochondrial DNA – albeit in this instance using mouse, rather than human, embryos.

Controversial world first genetic modification of human embryos

Urgent demands for debate on the ethics of human germline gene editing and an international moratorium on using the CRSPR-Cas9 technique for this purpose have been sharply underlined by the news that Chinese researchers have already used the technique.

Time for a moratorium on human germline genome editing?

International experts are calling for a ban on nuclear genome editing of the human germ line in clinical practice.

Ethical implementation of the genomics revolution

The PHG Foundation recently held a dissemination event for the Realising Genomics in Clinical Practice report. This was the culmination of a two-year project that sought to inform the optimal clinical implementation of expanded next generation sequencing (NGS) gene panels, whole exome sequencing and ultimately whole genome sequencing.