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Stem Cell Research

California stem cell agency may fund tests to edit genes in human embryos

A California agency funded by taxpayers is considering whether it should support scientific research aimed at genetically modifying human embryos — work so controversial that the federal government won't pay for it.

The state's stem cell institute is reviewing its ethics guidelines to determine whether they are strong enough to safely allow studies in which scientists would attempt to edit the genes of embryos.

Just this month, Britain became the first government to approve such an experiment, where a powerful new technology known as CRISPR will be used to edit genes in human embryos.

In the British research, the early-stage embryos will be studied and...