On 20/01/2019 12:57, chrisran.bma e-mail wrote:
> So, I suggest the claim should be kept open until later of 1/1/20 and
> the ongoing investigation completes and reports or it becomes clear
> there will be no detailed report made public.
That seems optimistic to me. Assuming the reports are found to be mostly
accurate there is the big question of chimerism, which is a feature/risk
of the CRISPR process. I suspect no one will be able to say with
certainty whether their germline was altered until they reach puberty
and mature eggs can be taken. (And, as with the mitochondrial
replacement cases it's not clear that testing will actually be done).
Various tissues (blood/hair/nails) could be tested now to assess general
degree of chimerism but I believe it would take a really invasive and
medically unnecessary procedure to test germ cells themselves.
There's another clause in the claim that makes me wonder if we'll be
waiting a while:
"For the purposes of this claim, the manipulation has to be ... allowed
to be inheritable (no neutering or laws outlawing progeny that can
actually be enforced on the subject)."
This being China, still living with the legacy of one-child policy,
birth permits, forced abortions and sterilisations, and considering
authorities apparently first called the editing "extremely abominable in
nature" it is questionable how much freedom they'll have and it may be
very difficult to judge the level of coercion to avoid reproduction that