The Francis Crick Institute from London has announced its application to conduct non-clinical purpose research on human embryos.
The Francis Crick Institute is a cutting-edge collaboration of the UK’s leading medical research organisations: the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, various London academic institutions and the Wellcome Trust. Currently still under construction, it is based in the Euston area and receives an annual budget of £100M as the largest biomed research base in Europe.
The institute has now announced they are applying to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for permission to start research on human embryos. The proposal allows the institute to use gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 (the way forward in gene-editing techniques) on human embryos up to the age of 2 weeks. This would allow them to make cutting-edge advances in stem-cell research and medicine, which cannot be accomplished in murine models alone.