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Our Scientific Director Professor Daniel Brison talks about HFEA’s genome editing decision

02.Feb.2016
I am pleased that the HFEA have today approved the use of genome editing on human embryos donated to research by couples undergoing IVF treatment. This technology (called Crispr/Cas9) gives scientists the opportunity for the first time to learn about the function of specific genes by removing them from embryos and looking at the effect on the way they develop. We are not doing this work here in Manchester but I will be very interested to speak to the scientists involved and see their results. Now that genome editing has been invented it is not going to go away, and in fact has already been performed on human embryos elsewhere in the world. However this research can now progress under the oversight of an internationally respected regulatory body, the HFEA, who will ensure that it is carried out safely and responsibly; the UK is the best place in the world to do this research.