Have we descended into the “inhumanity of a hive or a heathen city,” as G.K. Chesterton wrote in 1926, where we’re starting to accept the proposition “‘Actions are only wrong if they are bad for society’”? Many would say this is the case, with British scientists having been granted permission to genetically modify unborn human beings. Writes the Telegraph:
British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator.
The Francis Crick Institute could begin the controversial experiments as early as March after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) gave the green light this morning.
The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development.
It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has been undertaken and the first time it has been directly approved by a regulator. A Chinese team carried out similar experiments last year to widespread outcry.
Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.
If scientists knew which genes were crucial for healthy cell division, then they could screen out embryos where their DNA was not working properly, potentially preventing miscarriages and aiding fertility.