North Carolina Law Review

University of North Carolina School of Law

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LEGAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CRISPR APPLICATIONS IN PSYCHIATRY

97 N.C. L. REV. 1359 (2019)

 

Gene-environment interactions play a key role in how psychiatric disorders manifest and develop. Psychiatric genetics researchers are making progress in identifying genomic correlates of many disorders. And recently, the field of genetics has given rise to a technology that many claim will revolutionize the biological sciences and propel the field into a transformative phase: the powerful gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9. This Article illustrates which psychiatric conditions are likely to make attractive targets for CRISPR as the technology evolves and CRISPR therapies become viable tools to manage or prevent disorders in a clinical setting. We examine the potential scientific and clinical challenges of applying CRISPR in the mental health context, along with the regulatory, ethical, and legal issues that might arise as a consequence of these applications.

 

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