Science has taken another step toward delivering the perfect newborn – or at least a bouncing baby free of certain genetic defects.
Chinese researchers used a genome editing technique called CRISPR to rid normal embryos of hereditary diseases that cause blood disorders and other ailments, according to New Scientist. Experts who reviewed the project told the publication that, even though it involved just six embryos, it carries promise.
“It is encouraging,” Robin Lovell-Badge, a human genome expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London, told New Scientist.
The acronym stands for “Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats,” and the technique is a method of disabling genes by introducing small mutations that disrupt the code of a DNA sequence. Prior to the Chinese experiment, studies involving the CRISPR technique have focused on its use in abnormal embryos that could never fully develop. For bioethics reasons, it was not previously used on healthy, or normal embryos.
Is that a phone I hear?