Scientists genetically a modify human embryo for the first time

Scientists genetically a modify human embryo for the first time

Scientists genetically a modify human embryo for the first time

None of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than few days and were never intended for implantation. The National Institutes of Health has banned experiments that involve genome-editing of human embryos, and Congress has barred the U.S. Food & Drug Administration from considering allowing human trials involving altered embryos. In previous attempts by Chinese scientists, CRISPR caused an editing error wherein the DNA changes they made were only taken up by some, not all, of the cells the embryos developed. With gene editing, these so-called "germline" changes are permanent and would be passed down to any offspring.

"This is the kind of research that is essential if we are to know if it's possible to safely and precisely make corrections" in embryos' DNA to fix disease-causing genes", legal scholar and bioethicist R. Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, told STAT.

However, research in the field of genetic modifications of human embryos has always been deemed controversial. But they only managed to make their desired DNA changes on a small number of cells, creating an effect known as "mosaicism".

Mitalipov's team worked with human embryos produced by sperm from men with a genetic mutation, the report said, noting they were of "clinical quality".

"It is proof of principle that it can work".

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This is not the first time in the world this gene-editing technique has been used.

Those who oppose the work worry that it could lead to an era of "designer babies", modified to fit a preconceived ideal, while supporters suggest it's a miraculous discovery that could one day eliminate many childhood and lifelong diseases. 'They significantly reduced mosaicism. Technology Review could not determine which disease genes had been chosen for editing. In 2013, Mitalipov was the first to derive stem cells from human embryos created by cloning adult cells. Many are drooling to engage in eugenic genetic enhancements.

The approach has been used previously to edit the HBB gene responsible for a condition called β-thalassaemia. "Genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people", said Alta Charo, co-chair of the NAS's study committee and professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Despite such barriers, the creation of a gene-edited person could be attempted at any moment, including by IVF clinics operating facilities in countries where there are no such legal restrictions.

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