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Researchers successfully edit 1st human embryo with CRISPR

Scientists have successfully edited genes in a human embryo, correcting a disease-causing mutation to prevent the defect from being inherited. The groundbreaking process, covered in a paper published yesterday in Nature, was confirmed last week by the Oregon Health and Science University, which collaborated with the Salk Institute and Korea’s Institute for Basic Science on the task. To edit the genetic mutation, in this case for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, researchers used a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9. The CRISPR-Cas9 technique operates as a sort of ‘molecular scissors’ which can trim away unwanted parts of a genome and replace it with new pieces of DNA. “We have demonstrated the possibility to correct mutations in a human embryo in a safe way and with a certain degree of efficiency,” study co-author Juan Izpisua Belmonte of the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory said in a prepared release. The technique has been attempted multiple times in China with mixed results. To improve the chance of success, researchers introduced the genome editing components along with sperm from a male with the particular gene defect during the in vitro fertilization process. Researchers said that the embryo used the available, healthy copy of the gene to repair the mutated part. The study team reported that the gene correction did not cause any detectable mutations in other parts of the genome, which has served as a major concern for gene editing. ...
Source: Mass Device - Category: Medical Devices Authors: Tags: Biotech Research & Development Source Type: news

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