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Japan plans to allow interference with human embryo genes

The proposal was published on September 28 by an expert commission representing the ministries of health and science of the country. The new list of rules will allow editing the genes of human embryos in the early stages of development.

Currently, the use of tools such as CRISPR – Cas9 is not regulated. According to Tetsuya Ishii – bioethics from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, before the publication of Japan, the position of editing genes in human embryos was neutral, but now the country encourages such research.

After the adoption of the principles, the alteration of genes will be permitted for research purposes, although there will not be a legal ban on interventions for reproductive purposes.

Manipulating DNA in embryos will help to better understand the process of early human development. The researchers also hope that in the long run, these tools can be used to correct the genetic mutations that cause the disease.

The project will be open for public comment from next month and is likely to be implemented in the first half of next year.

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