How doctors "rectify" embryos to eliminate diseases

Scientists in the US have successfully managed to edit human DNA which could allow scientists to rectify deformities and disabilities in babies as well as allow people to "customize" their babies.

Well, scientists in the US have successfully managed to edit the human DNA using a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9.

The research conducted by the Oregon Health and Science University involved editing viable embryos and correcting a gene mutation that causes a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can lead to sudden death.

More research into genome editing could allow scientists to change the DNA of babies with deformities and disabilities before they are born.

It is important to note that the embryos were not implanted during the experiment as implantation means they will develop into babies.

“I expect these results will be encouraging to those who hope to use human embryo editing research or eventual clinical purposes,” said Jennifer Doudna, a CRIPR pioneer at the Univeristy of California, Berkley.

What is gene editing?

Gene editing is basically making changes to the DNA of an organism.

An enzyme cuts the DNA at a specific sequence and when this is repaired by the cell a change or ‘edit’ is made to the sequence.

Risks

There is, however, the risk of permanent damage to the babies in case something goes wrong.

Morally, bioethicists fear that parents will be able to customize their designer baby to acquire specific traits such as having blue eyes or

You can read more about gene-editing here.

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