Human embryo edited for first time in USA, pushes limits

Human embryo edited for first time in USA, pushes limits

Up until now, reports about human-related gene editing usually come from outside the U.S. China, in particular, hasn't been holding back when it comes to CRISPR experimentation.

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. Modifying an embryo to eradicate heritable diseases is called "germline engineering", because the child born from that embryo will pass on the changes with his or her germ (egg or sperm) cells. The U.S. intelligence community said a year ago that the CRISPR editing technique was a potential "weapon of mass destruction".

In the International Summit on Human Gene Editing held in 2015 in Washington D.C., scientists debated the safety risks and ethical hazards of modifying the human embryos and human "germline" (the genetic blueprint that will be passed on to future generations) using CRISPR.

Mitalipov's results are still "pending publication", he told MIT.

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.

More news: More Americans Stop Smoking, May be Attributed to E-Cigarettes

Basically, a genetic scalpel, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) allows users to slice parts of DNA in living cells to remove existing genes or add new ones. What we've found out, however, is that it's possible to use CRISPR to edit embryos without causing an error called "mosaicism", Engadget said.

Scientists have even questioned the ethics of genetically editing human embryos, saying that gene-editing technology could be used to create designer babies with enhanced traits, such as higher intelligence or greater beauty. Embryos at this stages are tiny clumps of cells invisible to the naked eye.

Regardless, the research shows just how far gene editing has come - and makes the prospect of engineered, disease-free humans more science fact than science fiction.

"It is proof of principle that it can work". But Mitalipov was able to "significantly" reduce mosaicism, according to MIT Technology Review.

"If America were to take the lead both in terms of working with journals, working with private foundations, with patient groups, and working with state and federal government, I think you'd get collaboration from the rest of the world", Caplan says. The team reduced mosaicism by ensuring that CRISPR was injected into eggs early on, while they were in the process of being fertilized with sperm.

Related Articles

  • Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

    Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

    Craig Kimbrel relieved Blaine Boyer with one out and two on in the ninth and struck out two to end the game. In nine career appearances against the Mariners, including seven starts, Sale is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA.
    Swiss chainsaw attacker evades police search

    Swiss chainsaw attacker evades police search

    Swiss Public Television SRF tweeted a series of past photos of the suspect that offer a better clue of what the man looks like. They released a new photo of Franz Wrousis on Tuesday and said he had several convictions for weapons offences.
    CTE diagnosed in 99% of former National Football League  players

    CTE diagnosed in 99% of former National Football League players

    Eventually, the condition described by Martland was named dementia pugilistica, and now is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
  • Donald Trump Blocks Chrissy Teigen On Twitter For This Crazy Reason

    Donald Trump Blocks Chrissy Teigen On Twitter For This Crazy Reason

    Soon after that remark, Teigen, who is married to singer John Legend , explained her strong dislike for the Republican president. Several months later, she went on to say that the lack of Trump in her life has had a positive effect on her well-being.
    Sandell Believes Barnes & Noble Should Not Be Stand-alone Public Company

    Sandell Believes Barnes & Noble Should Not Be Stand-alone Public Company

    The share price of Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE:BNED) was down -4.52% during the last trading session, with a day high of 7.52. Equity analyst Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage setting a rating of "Buy" and setting a price target of $19.00.

    Mumbai building collapse in Ghatkopar

    Maharashtra legislative council chairman has directed the state to submit a report on the incident. Twelve people have been rescued so far, and efforts are underway to rescue the others.
  • From one champion to another: Sania Mirza hails 'incredible ambassador' Mithali Raj

    From one champion to another: Sania Mirza hails 'incredible ambassador' Mithali Raj

    The all-round performance was on display in the semi- final against Australia, who have won the World Cup six times. However, post the World Cup triumph , Gerald Corbett, the club's chairman, told that "Lord's is changing".
    Former VW executive to plead guilty in emissions cheating case

    Former VW executive to plead guilty in emissions cheating case

    Oliver Schmidt was arrested while trying to take a plane to Germany in January this year, during the 2017 NAIAS in Detroit . The manufacturer said 11 million of its vehicles were affected worldwide - including nearly 1.2 million in the UK.
    Barbara Sinatra, Frank's fourth wife, dies at 90

    Barbara Sinatra, Frank's fourth wife, dies at 90

    Barbara Sinatra was the music icon's fourth wife. "It's something you can't explain why or how it happened". Her first marriage collapsed when she was caught having an affair with Zeppo Marx , an actor and comedian.
  • House conservatives gunning for probe of James Comey, Hillary Clinton

    House conservatives gunning for probe of James Comey, Hillary Clinton

    Clinton will recount an election marked by "rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows", according to Simon & Schuster. Hillary Clinton is promising to explain " What Happened " with her unexpected election loss.
    Kellyanne Conway Doesn't Deny Reince Priebus Is A Leaker

    Kellyanne Conway Doesn't Deny Reince Priebus Is A Leaker

    Scaramucci's tweet also raised eyebrows because he included White House chief of staff Reince Priebus 's Twitter handle. Bradley Byrne said Thursday that Congress will keep doing its work despite the increasing turmoil at the White House.
    Italy drought: Vatican turns off fountains to save water

    Italy drought: Vatican turns off fountains to save water

    Others are: Umbria and Lazio in central Italy, as well as Campania, Calabria, Apulia, Basilicata and Sicily in the south. The drought has put Rome at risk for drastic water rationing, a measure being considered later this week by authorities.