Waltz M, Juengst ET, Edwards T, Henderson GE, Kuczynski KJ, Conley JM, Della-Penna P, Cadigan RJ. The view from the benches: scientists' perspectives on the uses and governance of human gene-editing research. CRISPR J. 2021 Aug;4(4):609-15. doi: 10.1089/crispr.2021.0038

ABSTRACT: The advent of human gene editing has stimulated international interest in how best to govern this research. However, research on stakeholder views has neglected scientists themselves. We surveyed 212 scientists who use gene editing in their work. Questions captured views on oversight and use of somatic and germline human gene editing for treatment, prevention, and enhancement. More respondents were supportive of somatic than germline editing, and more supported gene editing for treatment compared to prevention. Few supported its use for enhancement. When presented with specific conditions, levels of support for somatic editing differed by type of condition. Almost all respondents said scientists and national government representatives should be involved in oversight, but only 28% said scientists are best positioned to oversee gene-editing research. These results can inform the development of sound approaches to research governance, demonstrating the importance of identifying specific gene-editing uses when considering oversight.

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