The recent call by U.S. scientists for a temporary pause "in the application of germ-line modification for clinical application in humans while the implications of such activity are discussed" has added a new intensity to the debate and reveals a potential bioethical divide between the US and the UK.
I believe that we as bioethicists have a responsibility to try and bring to the surface the underlying forces that that shape the ethical boundaries of a particular debate in a country versus another. Political, social and economic factors shape ethics and policy making as they shape science and technology in different ways in different countries.
"What are the moral implications of genome editing?" is the question that has been posed by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics regarding the new CRISPR-Cas9 mediated germ-line genome editing technique, which allows targeted modification of DNA sequences at the level of the germ-line, i.e. gametes (eggs and sperm).