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8 - The Regulation of Human Germline Genome Modification in Germany

from Part II - Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2019

Andrea Boggio
Affiliation:
Bryant University, Rhode Island
Cesare P. R. Romano
Affiliation:
Loyola Marymount University, California
Jessica Almqvist
Affiliation:
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
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Summary

In the Federal Republic of Germany, intentional alteration of the genome of germline cells and embryos is prohibited by criminal law. This ban is the result of legislation that was adopted more than twenty-five years ago. However, the rapid emergence of genome manipulation techniques, coupled with recent technological developments, is increasingly exposing the senescence of the regulatory framework. With the advent of genome editing, there has been a shift in the national debate on the use of genetic engineering. Until recently, the discussion regarding the use of genome altering methods had been more about the application of genetic engineering to plants (so-called ‘green genetic engineering’) than to humans (so-called ‘red genetic engineering’). After all, green genetic engineering has been present in the fields for years, and sometimes even on the plate, while most red genetic engineering efforts have been unspectacular cell biology basic research, slowed down by both technical and legal hurdles. However, the emergence of more precise, safer and more predictable genome editing methods has now brought the issue into German public discourse and, as evidenced by this volume, around the world.

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Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science
A Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies
, pp. 241 - 265
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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