Expert panel calls for central registry on human genome editing research


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO's) newly established advisory committee on developing global standards for governance and oversight of human genome editing has called for the establishment of a central registry on human genome editing research. 

The Committee met for the first time this week, and over a two-day period it reviewed the current state of science and technology in this area.

It said a central registry on human genome editing research is needed "in order to create an open and transparent database of ongoing work" and asked the WHO to immediately begin working to establish the registry. It has invited all those conducting human genome editing research to open discussions “to better understand the technical environment and current governance arrangements and help ensure their work meets current scientific and ethical best practice.”

The Committee also agreed that "it is irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with clinical applications of human germline genome editing".

Over the next two years, the Committee will consult with a wide range of stakeholders and provide recommendations for a comprehensive governance framework that is “scalable, sustainable and appropriate for use at the international, regional, national and local levels”.