Gene edited babies

Gene edited babies

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Lulu and Nana are twin human girls born to parents Mark and Grace in China in November 2018, and claimed to be the world's first genetically edited babies. The human genes were edited, using CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that can basically cut-and-paste DNA, to resist the HIV virus.[1]

One of the researchers, Jiankui He of Shenzhen, said he modified embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. Dr. He said he was trying to provide a trait (CCR5-Δ32) that few people naturally have -- an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.[3] In this instance, the CCR5 gene was targeted. Based on a mechanism described in Quartz, the CCR5 gene "is responsible for producing a protein that HIV uses to latch on, enter, and infect a human immune cell. If the CCR5 gene were mutated, … the HIV virus would not be able to infect--and thus the mutation would confer resistance to the disease."
According to George Church, geneticist at Harvard University, the attempted gene editing for HIV, was "justifiable" since HIV is "a major and growing public health threat".[3] Other geneticists thought otherwise. According to geneticist Kiran Musunuru of the University of Pennsylvania, the gene editing technique was “unconscionable … an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible.”[3] Geneticist Eric Topol stated, “This is far too premature .. We’re dealing with the operating instructions of a human being. It’s a big deal.”[3] Medical ethicist Julian Savulescu of the University of Oxford noted, "If true, this experiment is monstrous".[2] Developmental biologist Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute said, "If true…this would be a highly irresponsible, unethical and dangerous use of genome editing technology."


[1] MIT Technology Review EXCLUSIVE: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies – MIT Technology Review

[2] nytimes China Orders Investigation After Scientist Claims First Gene-Edited Babies – The New York Times

[3] AP NEWS Chinese researcher claims first gene-edited babies

[4] STAT Claim of CRISPR'd baby girls stuns genome editing summit – STAT

[5] CNET Scientists in China claim to have created first gene-edited human babies – CNET

[6] ZDNet Meet Lulu and Nana, claimed to be the world's first gene-edited children | ZDNet

[7] BBC News China baby gene editing claim 'dubious' – BBC News

[8] RT International Designer baby steps: World’s first ‘gene-edited’ children born in China -- RT World News

[9] Quartz
Quartz Chinas gene-edited CRISPR babies push bioethics into a dark new era -- Quartz

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Ryumaru Borike
Ryumaru Borike

I mean, I know genetic modification of humans is a touchy subject since the dystopian implications if it goes unchecked, but the dude just made the babies resistant to HIV, not make them taller, smarter, and a tendency to vote for the doctors political party. People need to stop overreacting with the mutant entry picture and the Nazi analogs.


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