Researchers Use Gene Editing in Human Embryos to Correct Disease

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Chinese scientists had previously reported using CRISPR to edit human embryos, but they were only successful in altering a small number of cells.

The technique means the next generation may benefit from powerful gene therapies that can delete or fix flawed genes. The technique is created to correct a genetic disorder from the father.

The process of gene modification in human embryos has been met with global resistance.

The research, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, head of OHSU's Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, involves a technology known as CRISPR.

Global experts in the emerging field of gene therapy said it would be hard to assess the results until the OR team fully published its findings. Research into how to create designer babies should not be published.

The U.S. intelligence community previous year called CRISPR a potential "weapon of mass destruction".

A recent report on genome editing from the National Academies did not call for a moratorium on research into germline editing, arguing that it might one day be a way for some parents to have healthy, biological children, such as when both mother and father carry genetic mutations that cause severe diseases.

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And in December 2015 Scientists and ethicists held and an global meeting held at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington.

Human embryos have been edited with CRISPR before, only in China.

He broke the record on the number of embryos experimented upon. None of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than few days and were never intended for implantation. CRISPR opened up a whole new field in genetic because of its ability to alter genes precisely and quickly. It's like using a molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA, and is much more precise than some types of gene therapy that can not ensure that desired changes will take place exactly where and as intended.

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

The goal is to be able to correct defective genes that would cause inherited diseases.

The news follows a report earlier this year by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, which essentially gave a green light to researchers to use gene editing to treat or prevent inherited disease. Perry successfully edited the mouse gene for coat color, changing the fur of the offspring from the expected brown to white.

The acronym stands for "Clustered Regularly Inter-Spaced Palindromic Repeats". Scientists and bioethicists should agree on rules on what should and should not be done, and then make sure that editors of scientific journals enforce them.

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