AP-NORC Poll: Most support gene editing to protect babies

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new poll finds most Americans support using gene-editing technology to create babies protected against a variety of diseases – but not to make children smarter, faster or taller.

Friday’s release of the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research comes a month after startling claims of the world’s first gene-edited births in China. It finds people torn between the medical promise of technology powerful enough to alter human heredity and concerns over how to use it ethically.

Most Americans favor one day using gene editing to prevent a variety of disorders a child otherwise would inherit, both fatal and non-fatal.

But the poll also uncovered fear that it will be used for unethical reasons – and won’t be affordable for the average person.