Gene Editing of Embryos Promises to Cure Inherited Diseases

(p. A13) For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases.
. . .
The Oregon scientists reportedly used a technique called CRISPR, which allows specific sections of DNA to be altered or replaced. It’s like using a molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA, and is much more precise than some types of gene therapy that cannot ensure that desired changes will take place exactly where and as intended. With gene editing, these so-called “germline” changes are permanent and would be passed down to any offspring.
The approach holds great potential to avoid many genetic diseases, . . .
. . .
One prominent genetics expert, Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California, said gene editing of embryos is “an unstoppable, inevitable science, and this is more proof it can be done.”
Experiments are in the works now in the U.S. using gene-edited cells to try to treat people with various diseases, but “in order to really have a cure, you want to get this at the embryo stage,” he said.

For the full story, see:
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. “U.S. Scientists Edit Genes in Human Embryo.” The New York Times (Fri., JULY 28, 2017): A13.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JULY 27, 2017, and has the title “In U.S. First, Scientists Edit Genes of Human Embryos.”)

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