Dr. Welling echoed concerns over the potential downstream risks of the procedure. “If we go off target, it could take decades for the long-term side effects [of gene editing] to unfold,” he warned.
Explore This IssueDecember 2017
And then he pointed to an even more chilling scenario: “I do believe there will be lot of upsides to this technology, but it is also very accessible [to people with ill intent],” Dr. Welling said. “I know that is one of the concerns the intelligence community [has]—that CRISPR could produce a biologic weapon of mass destruction.”
Financial disclosures: Dr. Staecker disclosed that he is on the surgical advisory board of MedEl. None of the other participants have any financial conflicts to disclose.
Nikki Kean is a freelance medical writer based in New Jersey.