Chamber of the Russian Federation hosted a roundtable in Moscow titled ‘Genome
Editing Technologies: Ethical and Medical Issues’ as part of a series of
scientific events dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the birth of Russian
Academy of Sciences (RAS) Academician Yevgeny Velikhov. The event was attended by Deputy
Head of the Russian President’s Office for Scientific and Educational Policy
Yelena Nechayeva, State Duma Deputy and Member of the State Duma Committee for
Health Protection Alexander Petrov, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical
University Rector Sergey Lukyanov, Director of the Koltsov Biology Development
Institute under the RAS Andrey Vasilyev, Director of the Vavilov Institute of
General Genetics under the RAS Alexander Kudryavtsev, and Director of the
Medical Genetic Research Centre, President of the Association of Medical
Genetics of Russia, and Chief External Expert on Medical Genetics at the
Russian Ministry of Health Sergey Kutsev, among others. The roundtable was
organized by the Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and
Analytical Activities, with the support
of the Roscongress Foundation, the Russian Association for the Promotion of
Science, and the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
scientific community views gene editing technologies as a unique tool that
promises breakthroughs in agriculture, industrial biotechnology, and medicine.
Many laboratories around the world are researching the use of this technology
for the treatment of hereditary, oncological, infectious, and autoimmune
diseases. In particular, gene editing technology is one of the main approaches
to the development of personalized treatment of diseases.
can say with certainty that editing the human genome is our future. We will get
to this point sooner or later. It’s already important now to develop a national
programme that would also include the creation of a federal state register – a
gene bank and a bank of mutations. Developing such a programme is a matter of
protecting the genetic data of Russians, the national security of citizens, and
biosafety”, Petrov said.
roundtable participants noted that issues concerning legal support and
bioethics not only require the involvement the expert and scientific community,
but the general public as well. Both experts and society are currently focusing
on the effectiveness of any new technology, its safety, and clinical
feasibility. The prospect of new genetically modified plants and farm animals
emerging, the feasibility of changing the structure of the genome of embryos,
discussions about the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’, the formation of
new forms of social inequality, and interference with the evolution of humanity
as a whole require a comprehensive discussion.
question of applying gene editing technologies cannot solely be solved by the
scientific community. This issue requires a comprehensive examination. We need
to not only take into account the medical genetic aspects, but bioethical
aspects as well. Discussion platforms that bring together the expert community,
representatives of the government, and public organizations play an important
role in searching for optimal solutions to regulate such a complex, yet
promising area of science as gene editing”, Content Foundation Director
Yelena Sokolova said.
Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities was
established by the Roscongress Foundation with the aim of laying the
foundations for a healthy society and Russia’s sustainable social development.
The Foundation organizes industry events, implements educational and
awareness-raising programmes, and also provides expert and analytical support.