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Gene editing of human embryos yields early results

Efforts to cure genetic diseases under way in lab, not ready for clinic

By
11:30am, March 29, 2017
human embryo

EMBRYO EDIT  Researchers in China and Texas have used CRISPR/Cas9 to repair disease-causing mutations in viable human embryos.

Scientists have long sought a strategy for curing genetic diseases, but — with just a few notable exceptions — have succeeded only in their dreams. Now, though, researchers in China and Texas have taken a step toward making the fantasies a reality for all inherited diseases.

Using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, the researchers have successfully edited disease-causing mutations out of viable human embryos. Other Chinese groups had previously reported editing human embryos that could not develop into a baby because they carried extra chromosomes, but this is the first report involving viable embryos (SN Online: 4/8/16; SN Online: 4/23/15).

In the new work, reported March 1 in Molecular Genetics and Genomics

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