Gene editing technology, once a far-fetched scientific fantasy, has become a tangible reality. One emerging form of gene editing in particular, human germline genome editing, possesses revolutionary capabilities that warrant cautious examination. Recent advancements in research have demonstrated that such biotechnology could be used to alter the genetic makeup of unborn children and the hereditary genes of future generations. This biotechnology may possess the ability to save countless human lives, but we must ask—What happens when the line between preventing disease and “playing God” becomes blurry? Human germline genome editing raises a multitude of widespread and deeply rooted questions surrounding the fate of humanity, all of which thwart justifying its present-day use. Despite such concerns, this field of biotechnology generally remains unregulated in the United States. This Comment thoroughly examines the potential benefits and consequences of human germline genome editing and provides a brief overview of the current means of government oversight and the lack of regulatory control. Ultimately, this Comment proposes a new regulatory scheme that emphasizes moral considerations for human germline genome editing and other high-risk biotechnology.
Genetically Customized Generations—A Need for Increased Regulatory Control over Gene Editing Technology in the United States,
SMU L. Rev.