Chinese scientist claims to use Crispr to make the first genetically modified babies


At the conference, whose organizers included Jennifer Doudna, one of the inventors of the Crispr technology, Dr. He had a careful discussion of something that participants considered directly within the ethically approved field of research, said one of those attending Dr. Fyodor. Urnov, deputy director of the Altius Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Innovative Genomics at the University of California, Berkeley.

"If you heard his talk, it is this very cautious, careful and step-by-step advance," Urnov said. "He presented CCR® embryo editing. He was introducing the conversation to colleagues, professional gene editors who know that the field is moving fast, so frankly, the atmosphere in the room was, I do not mean ho-hum, but it was "Yes, of course, you." We have built ten years of progress. & # 39; "

But he did not mention that some of these embryos were implanted in a woman and could result in genetically modified babies.

"What we do know now is that while he was talking, there was a woman in China carrying twins," Urnov said. "He had a chance to say" Oh, and by the way, I'm going to go out and say that, folks, there's a woman carrying twins ".

"I would never play poker against Dr. He," joked Dr. Urnov.

Richard Hynes, a cancer researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who co-led an advisory group on human genetics editing for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, said a group and a similar organization in Britain determined that human genes should be edited, the procedure should be done only to address "serious needs not met in medical treatment, it had to be well monitored, it had to be well followed, full consent had to be in place."

It is unclear why genes change to make people resistant to H.I.V. is "a serious unmet need". Men with H.I.V. do not infect embryos. Their semen contains the virus that causes AIDS, which can infect women, but the virus can be removed from the sperm before insemination. Or a doctor can inject a single sperm into an egg. In both cases, the woman will not be infected and neither will the babies.


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