Human Embryos Edited In USA, DNA Improved.

In DNA, Genetics by Brainy Days Ahead

Human embryos in the United States have been genetically modified by a team of researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. The scientists changed the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR. The research objective of the scientists was to successfully demonstrate that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease through a process known as germline engineering. This editing process would allow any genetically modified person to then pass the changes on to subsequent generations via their own germ cells—the egg and sperm. The research demonstrated the researchers’ ability to successfully genetically modify human embryos, overcoming earlier difficulties by injecting CRISPR into the eggs at the same time they were fertized with sperm. The altered embryos were not transferred or implanted.  The study follows recent publication of a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences that was widely seen as providing a green light for lab research on germline modification. The report offered qualified support for the use of CRISPR for making gene-edited babies, but only if the objective was the elimination of serious diseases.