Did CRISPR human embryo edits really work? | Science News


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Researchers say CRISPR edits to a human embryo worked. But critics still doubt it

Reports that a heart disease–causing version of a gene had been corrected remain contested

2:45pm, August 8, 2018
human embryos

ALTERED OR NOT?  These human embryos were edited with CRISPR/Cas9 to repair a gene that can cause heart failure. A follow-up study claims to confirm the result, but other scientists contend the embryos might not have been fixed.

When researchers announced last year that they had edited human embryos to repair a damaged gene that can lead to heart failure, critics called the report into question.

Now new evidence confirms that the gene editing was successful, reproductive and developmental biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov and colleagues report August 8 in Nature. “All of our conclusions were basically right,” Mitalipov, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said during a news conference on August 6.

But authors of two critiques published in the same issue of Nature say they still aren’t convinced.

At issue is the way that the gene was repaired. Mitalipov and colleagues used the molecular scissors CRISPR/Cas9 to cut a faulty version of a gene called MYBPC3

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