BBC News

CRISPR genome editing 'an important tool'

An international group of prominent ethicists and scientists has said it is essential that editing of the human genome should be allowed for research.

The Hinxton Group also says the door should not be closed on one day allowing genetic engineering of humans.

Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier was one of the two co-discoverers of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that is now commonly used in biology labs around the world - although use of the system in federally-funded research on human embryos is currently banned in the US.

Prof Charpentier spoke to BBC News about the potential of this incredibly powerful tool for research and treatment of disease.

But she expressed her concerns about the use of the technology to edit embryos that would then be allowed to develop into babies, and so have a permanently altered genome.