The world’s first babies with CRISPR-Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)–edited genes were born on November 25, 2018. Dr. Jiankui He of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen performed this gene editing.
What happened to the first gene-edited babies?
A scientist in China who said he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies has been jailed for three years. He Jiankui was convicted of violating a government ban by carrying out his own experiments on human embryos, to try to give them protection against HIV.
Has gene editing been done?
Genome editing is of great interest in the prevention and treatment of human diseases. Currently, most research on genome editing is done to understand diseases using cells and animal models. Scientists are still working to determine whether this approach is safe and effective for use in people.
Can human DNA be changed?
Gene therapy , or somatic gene editing, changes the DNA in cells of an adult or child to treat disease, or even to try to enhance that person in some way. The changes made in these somatic (or body) cells would be permanent but would only affect the person treated.
What is a CRISPR baby?
More than a year ago, the world was shocked by Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui’s attempt to use CRISPR technology to modify human embryos and make them resistant to HIV, which led to the birth of twins Lulu and Nana.
Why is germline editing unethical?
The idea of germline gene therapy is controversial. While it could spare future generations in a family from having a particular genetic disorder, it might affect the development of a fetus in unexpected ways or have long-term side effects that are not yet known.