First Ever Genetically Modified Human Embryos Created in U.S.

0
A still from a video shows gene-editing chemicals being injected into a human egg at the moment of fertilization. Scientists used the technique to correct DNA errors present in the father’s sperm.
Researchers have demonstrated they can efficiently improve the DNA of human embryos.

The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon, Technology Review has learned.

The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.

---

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

---

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.

---

The earlier Chinese publications, although limited in scope, found CRISPR caused editing errors and that the desired DNA changes were taken up not by all the cells of an embryo, only some. That effect, called mosaicism, lent weight to arguments that germline editing would be an unsafe way to create a person.

But Mitalipov and his colleagues are said to have convincingly shown that it is possible to avoid both mosaicism and “off-target” effects, as the CRISPR errors are known.

---

New References:
 US first: CRISPR-edited human embryos
First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.  

No comments:

Post a Comment