Scientists Create First Genetically Engineered Human Embryos In US

First Human Embryos Edited in US

"To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China", it said.

In a step that some of the nation's leading scientists have long warned against and that has never before been accomplished, biologists in OR have edited the DNA of viable human embryos efficiently and apparently with few mistakes, according to a report in Technology Review.

According to MIT Technology Review, the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos was changed with the gene editing technique CRISPR. The fear is that it can lead to manipulating the human genome at will-not only to correct genetic defects, but to enhance certain human characteristics, such as athleticism and intelligence, and remove those viewed as undesirable.

Scientists in China have attempted the same experiments on human embryos, to mixed results.

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OR researchers used embryos created for the experiment with sperm donated by men carrying inherited diseases.

CRISPR-Cas9 is a tool for making precise edits in DNA, discovered in bacteria. But the report said Mitalipov worked on more embryos and had more success. "If you don't want eugenics, you just draw a line and stop there", Caplan tells The Verge. Research into how to create designer babies should not be published.

And in December 2015 Scientists and ethicists held and an worldwide meeting held at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington. "I don't think it's the start of clinical trials yet, but it does take it further than anyone has before".

Engineered humans are still far away into the future. 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.

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The Oregon group managed to avoid that problem by injecting CRISPR segments - DNA segments used to cut out unwanted genes - and sperm cells into the eggs at the same time.

"This was purely laboratory-based work that is incredibly valuable for helping us understand how one might make these germline changes in a way that is precise and safe". They significantly reduced mosaicism.

Some in the field questioned just how groundbreaking the research is.

A recent report on genome editing from the National Academies did not call for a moratorium on research into germline editing, arguing that it might one day be a way for some parents to have healthy, biological children, such as when both mother and father carry genetic mutations that cause severe diseases. Hank Greely, a law professor and bioethicist at Stanford University, tweeted that the real breakthrough will be when someone actually implants the human embryos, so they can develop into human beings.

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