Examining Genetic Engineering

Genome editing is now more efficient, precise, and flexible, contributing to the improvement of human health around the globe. Recent revolutionary advances like CRISPR have allowed for gene editing at both the somatic and germline level. However, the speed at which these technologies are being developed and used has many policymakers and stakeholders concerned about whether appropriate systems are in place to govern them. Our reports examine potential benefits and risks of these technologies, and present general principles for the governance of genetic engineering.

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an …


Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

Genetically engineered (GE) crops were first introduced commercially in the 1990s. After two decades of production, some groups and individuals remain critical of the technology based on their concerns about possible adverse effects on human …


Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values

Research on gene drive systems is rapidly advancing. Many proposed applications of gene drive research aim to solve environmental and public health challenges, including the reduction of poverty and the burden of vector-borne diseases, such as …


Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations

Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases from mother to child. While MRTs, if effective, could satisfy a desire of women seeking to have a genetically related child …


The Promise of Genome Editing Tools to Advance Environmental Health Research: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Advances in genome editing – the process for making precise additions, deletions, and alterations of DNA and RNA – have opened the door for studying biological mechanisms of health and disease. On January 10-11, 2018, the National Academies of …


Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer therapy that harnesses the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells. In recent years, immunotherapies have been developed for several cancers, including advanced melanoma, lung cancer, and kidney cancer. In …