First Human Embryos 'Edited' in U.S.—Get the Facts
The work, which removed a gene mutation linked to a heart condition, is fueling debate over the controversial tool known as CRISPR.
What if you could remove a potentially fatal gene mutation from your child’s DNA before the baby is even born? In an advance that's as likely to raise eyebrows as it is to save lives, scientists just took a big step toward making that possible.
For the first time, researchers in the United States have used gene editing in human embryos. As they describe today in the journal Nature, the team used “genetic scissors” called CRISPR-Cas9 to target and remove a mutation associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common inherited heart disease, in 42 embryos.
If CRISPR sounds familiar, there’s a reason: Ever since its introduction, it’s been at the center of a heated debate about the ethics of gene editing. (Read