First Human Embryos Edited in US

The power to change your DNAEQUINOX GRAPHICS  SCIENCE

The power to change your DNAEQUINOX GRAPHICS SCIENCE

What we've found out, however, is that it's possible to use CRISPR to edit embryos without causing an error called "mosaicism", Engadget said. The objective is to eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, but many worry that this may lead to "designer" babies with genetic enhancements.

"To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China", freelance journalist Steve Connor wrote, outlining the stakes of the research. Although none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days - and there was never any intention of implanting them into a wombâ€"the experiments are a milestone on what may prove to be an inevitable journey toward the birth of the first genetically modified humans".

The team used donated sperm from men who carried inherited disease mutations to demonstrate that the genes can be corrected. If such a genetically modified child were born, they would pass on the edited changes in their DNA to subsequent generations.

"So far as I know this will be the first study reported in the U.S.", said Jun Wu from the Salk Institute in the United States, who was involved in the project. However, Mitalipov said his team was able to avoid mosaicism by injecting CRISPR into the eggs at the same time they were fertilized with sperm. US Intelligence agencies have warned against CRISPR, calling it a potential "weapon of mass destruction".

According to OHSU spokesperson Eric Robinson, the result of the peer-reviewed study are expected to be published soon in a scientific journal.

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Basically, the court is deliberating on whether Charlie's parents can be allowed to take him to U.S. for further treatment or not. MacLeod said families visiting other ill children have also been "harassed and discomforted" on the grounds of the hospital.

"It's very hard to be able to comment on any specifics or the robustness of the science because there is no scientific paper", said Simon Waddington, Reader in Gene Transfer Technology at University College London.

"It is proof of principle that it can work", the researcher said.

Don't expect a new generation of gene-edited people in the USA, though: Any local efforts to turn edited IVF embryos into babies have, so far, been blocked by Congress.

The National Institute of Health, however, vehemently disagrees, announcing in 2015 that it "will not fund any use of gene-editing technologies in human embryos". They significantly reduced mosaicism.

But in March this year, that academy and the American Medical Academy said in a new report that recent advances in the field "opened up a realistic possibility that deserves serious consideration".

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