It is time to discuss, once again, the lifting of a moratorium on research. We are not talking about the CRISPR genome-editing moratorium, but about the 20 August announcement by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lift the moratorium on research involving chimeric human/non-human embryos.
"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).
The macabre practice of eugenics is most commonly associated with Nazi Germany. But as John Railey, the editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, dispassionately demonstrates in his new book, Rage to Redemption in the Sterilization Age, it is a profoundly American enterprise. Make no mistake: This is a difficult read, and it should be.