New era of human embryo gene editing begins | Science News

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New era of human embryo gene editing begins

News report highlights one example, but scientists say many experiments now going on

By
4:30pm, September 23, 2016
human embryo

EDITS UNDER WAY  Researchers in Sweden have begun editing genes in viable early human embryos (four-cell stage, shown). Others are probably doing the experiments behind closed doors, scientists say.

A Swedish scientist is gene editing healthy human embryos, and he is probably not alone, researchers say.

Chinese researchers have twice reported editing genes in human embryos that are unable to develop into a baby (SN Online: 4/6/16; SN Online: 4/23/15). But developmental biologist Fredrik Lanner of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is the first researcher to publicly acknowledge editing genes in viable human embryos. Other researchers are almost certainly doing similar experiments out of the public eye, scientists say.

“My sense is that there are different groups out there doing this kind of work, but they haven’t opened up their labs” to reporters, says stem cell biologist Paul Knoepfler at the

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