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Scientists repair mutations in human embryos


Posted on Friday, 29 September, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

Could this spell the end for genetic disease ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Nogas1974
For the first time ever, a method known as 'chemical surgery' has been used to fix a faulty human gene.
Researchers in China have succeeded in correcting a single error in more than three billion 'letters' of our genetic code to remove a blood disorder known as beta thalassemia from human embryos.

The breakthrough means that it may one day be possible for parents to have genetic diseases removed from their children before they are even born.

The controversial research, while illegal in most countries, demonstrates that the technique, which is known as 'base editing' or 'chemical surgery', really works.

"For many years, we have been saying that direct gene editing in embryos is some way in to the future," said geneticist Darren Griffin. "Now the future is here and there is much to consider."

"While this is undoubtedly a highly significant advance, it is important not to get carried away about its widespread utility if put into clinical practice. An embryo would still need to be diagnosed as abnormal, then the base editor applied, then re-diagnosed to make sure that it had worked. This would be an involved procedure that would be very expensive."

"In the meantime, the ethical implications of gene manipulation in embryos need a thorough examination where safety is of paramount concern."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (11)

Tags: Chemical Surgery, Gene Editing

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Parsec on 29 September, 2017, 20:00
If stupidity can be cured...... 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ashyne on 29 September, 2017, 22:04
Stupidity is a lack of knowledge and knowledge can be acquired.
Comment icon #4 Posted by seanjo on 29 September, 2017, 22:29
Will it fix LGBTP?
Comment icon #5 Posted by qxcontinuum on 30 September, 2017, 4:19
this world wide virus must be cured first.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Parsec on 30 September, 2017, 8:36
Well, mine was just a silly comment.   Nope, ignorance is a lack of knowledge, sometimes confused with stupidity.  Close-mindeness can be "cured" by knowledge, but unfortunately with stupidy it's not as successful.    There are stupid scholars, researchers and scientists and brilliant uneducated people.    Now, defining what "stupidity" is, that's another topic altogether.  And it diverts considerably from my first silly comment. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by RayvenRed on 6 October, 2017, 4:20
Hitler would be so proud. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Rlyeh on 6 October, 2017, 9:08
Of curing diseases?
Comment icon #9 Posted by taniwha on 6 October, 2017, 16:06
We must remove the Hitler gene from embryos.
Comment icon #10 Posted by seanjo on 9 October, 2017, 18:27
And eliminate all the SJW's, antifa's and PC crowd? Are you sure...  
Comment icon #11 Posted by taniwha on 10 October, 2017, 21:22
We need to eliminate the uncertainty gene.  Then people will accept...


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