Chennai, January 28. 2019: The science of gene editing is making very rapid progress. The late Sir T S Venkatraman once told me that man is becoming Brahma or God of Creation. He further mentioned that this power imposes a heavy responsibility with reference to the ethical aspects of experimentation. It is therefore not surprising that scientists were shocked when the Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced about three months ago that he has created the world’s first genome-edited babies. This emphasise the urgency of having well-defined rules for measuring risks and benefits in relation to new technology. I would suggest that ICAR, CSIR and ICMR should take lead in developing guidelines for assessing the ethics of such work.
(File photo: Prof M S Swaminathan)