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World's first genetically edited babies born


Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2018 | Comment icon 12 comments

Should we really be tampering with the genes of unborn babies ? Image Credit: PD - John Keith
Scientists hoping to make children immune to HIV have produced the first ever genetically edited babies.
According to reports, an HIV-positive woman in China has given birth to two baby girls who had undergone gene editing in an effort to prevent them from contracting the disease.

The experiment, which involved using the CRISPR gene editing technique, has yet to be independently verified and has been universally condemned by doctors and scientists.

The team responsible, which was led by He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen, attempted to disable the gene CCR5 which is responsible for producing a certain protein that HIV binds to when it infects someone.

Volunteers were found for the experiment by offering HIV-positive couples free IVF treatment in exchange for participation in what was described as an "AIDS vaccine development program."

It remains unclear whether the method has actually made the two babies immune to the disease.

"If true, this experiment exposes healthy normal children to risks of gene editing for no real necessary benefit," said ethicist Julian Savulescu from the University of Oxford.

"There are many effective ways to prevent HIV in healthy individuals."

It remains unclear what impact the removal of CCR5 may have on the babies over the long term.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (12)

Tags: Gene Editing

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by FlyingAngel on 26 November, 2018, 18:08
Really, who would want to inject HIV into their own body just to 'test' ?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 26 November, 2018, 18:23
I am 100% behind this, that is the gene editing of humans. However, China is notorious for producing these fake stories so I don't necessarily believe that this is true.
Comment icon #5 Posted by AllPossible on 26 November, 2018, 19:07
Comment icon #6 Posted by seanjo on 26 November, 2018, 20:06
Depends on how it's done!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Silver Surfer on 27 November, 2018, 9:37
https://www.livescience.com/64166-first-genetically-modified-babies-risks.html Doesn't sound like it's good for anyone... Especially those modified...at least with our current understanding.
Comment icon #8 Posted by sci-nerd on 28 November, 2018, 0:04
@OverSword†Here we are! To answer your question:†No, they can just take a blood sample and test immunity from that.
Comment icon #9 Posted by danydandan on 28 November, 2018, 6:47
Aren't there people already immune to HIV?
Comment icon #10 Posted by sci-nerd on 28 November, 2018, 17:08
It seems there is:†https://www.hivplusmag.com/research-breakthroughs/2016/3/23/anyone-immune-hiv
Comment icon #11 Posted by Still Waters on 29 November, 2018, 14:02
Latest: †
Comment icon #12 Posted by Still Waters on 4 December, 2018, 12:20
Update: †


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