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Research Retreat “Desire to have children and genome-editing: Ethical, legal and social aspects of genome-editing in in-vitro fertilization” (10–14 July 2017, Tübingen)

The Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine at Tübingen University organises the research retreat “Desire to have children and genome-editing: Ethical, legal and social aspects of genome-editing in in-vitro fertilization”, which is addressed to PhD students and early career researchers and will take place from 10 to 14 July 2017 at the Tübingen University:

New methods for genome-editing (CRISPR/Cas) are more efficient than those previously known. They could be applied in the prevention and therapy of diseases. However, several scientists called for moratoria on interventions in the germ line. In the United Kingdom, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has granted researchers permission to use genome-editing for research purposes in human embryos. The improvement of success rates of assisted reproduction is one of the possible outcomes that are discussed in relation to this research. Unfulfilled desire for children is acknowledged to cause suffering and assisted reproduction is widely accepted as a treatment. Research which can increase the success rates of in-vitro fertilization is likely to be very welcome. Due to the application of the new methods in the context of assisted reproduction, it is necessary to consider the benefits and risks of IVF and genome-editing together. The aim of the retreat is an international and comparative perspective with a focus on Germany and the United Kingdom, two countries which differ in terms of the regulation of genome-editing in the context of IVF.

The event analyses the new methods of genome-editing in the context of IVF from ethical, legal and social perspectives, focuses on the comparison between Germany and the United Kingdom, fosters interdisciplinary exchange, experiments with new methods for scientific collaboration, and supports participants in publishing the papers developed for the retreat.

Applications (including a paper abstract and a CV) can be submitted until 13 April 2017, after which 14 participants will be selected for participation.

More information on the research retreat is available on the website of the Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine.

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