Half In UK Back Genome Editing To Prevent Severe Diseases

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Guardian: More than half the UK backs the idea of rewriting the DNA of human embryos to prevent severe or life-threatening diseases, according to a survey. Commissioned by the Progress Educational Trust (PET), a fertility and genomics charity, the Ipsos poll found that 53% of people support the use of human genome editing to prevent children from developing serious conditions such as cystic fibrosis. There was less enthusiasm for use of the procedure to prevent milder conditions such as asthma, with only 36% in favor, and to create designer babies, with only a fifth expressing support, but views on the technology differed dramatically with age. Younger generations were far more in favor of designer babies than older people, with 38% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 31% of 25- to 34-year-olds supporting the use of gene editing to allow parents to choose features such as their child's height and eye and hair color. In the UK and many other countries it is illegal to perform genome editing on embryos that are intended for pregnancies, but the restrictions could be lifted if research shows the procedure can safely prevent severe diseases.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.