Sunday, 22 October 2017
Latest news
Main » In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos

In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos

28 July 2017

In December 2015, a group of worldwide scientists and ethicists, including some from China, assembled by the US National Academy of Sciences said it would be irresponsible to use DNA editing tools to alter the genomes of human embryos, eggs, or sperm until safety, ethical and legal issues were resolved.

Scientists in China have published similar studies with mixed results.

A person familiar with the research says "many tens" of human IVF embryos were created for the experiment using the donated sperm of men carrying inherited disease mutations.

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 womb-the experiments are a milestone on what may prove to be an inevitable journey toward the birth of the first genetically modified humans.

Scientists wanted to show that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, like thalassemia.

But some countries have signed a convention prohibiting the practice based on concerns it could be used to create "designer babies".

Opposition protests against Lok Sabha speaker's suspension of six Congress MPs
Prakash Javadekar had tried to introduce the IIIT Bill , but was cut short by shouting Opposition members. Mahajan, however, said she didn't want to comment on the issue immediately.

Scientists have genetically engineered human embryos for the first time in the United States, according to a report in the MIT Technology Review. 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.

Scientists familiar with the new USA work told MIT Technology Review that the OR team has improved these issues.

"The results of this study will be published soon in a scientific journal". 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.

The research, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, head of OHSU's Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, involves a technology known as CRISPR. "Unfortunately, we can provide no further information about the work", Eric Robinson, a spokesman for the OHSU, told the review.

But in February, a report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine said that clinical trials for gene editing of human reproductive cells "could be permitted in the future, but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight".

"They significantly reduced mosaicism", explained one researcher, who chose to remain anonymous.

In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos