World’s first gene-edited babies created in China, claims scientist

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Unconfirmed scientific breakthrough sparks ethical and moral concerns

A scientist in China claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, in a potentially ground-breaking and controversial medical first.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics. This kind of gene-editing is banned in most countries as the technology is still experimental and DNA changes can pass to future generations, potentially with unforeseen side-effects.

Related: Super-smart designer babies could be on offer soon. But is that ethical? | Philip Ball

Crispr, or to give it its full name, Crispr-Cas9, allows scientists to precisely target and edit pieces of the genome. Crispr is a guide molecule made of RNA, that allows a specific site of interest on the DNA double helix to be targeted. The RNA molecule is attached to Cas9, a bacterial enzyme that works as a pair of “molecular scissors” to cut the DNA at the exact point required. This allows scientists to cut, paste and delete single letters of genetic code. 

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Source: china
Link : World’s first gene-edited babies created in China, claims scientist

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