Bioethics News

Second Chinese Team Reports Gene Editing in Human Embryos

April 11, 2016

(Nature) – In the paper, Fan, who works at Guangzhou Medical University in China, and his team say that they collected a total of 213 fertilized human eggs between April and September 2014. The fertilized eggs, donated by 87 patients, were unsuitable for implantation as part of in vitro fertility therapy, because they contained an extra set of chromosomes. Fan’s team used CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing to introduce into some of the embryos a mutation that cripples an immune-cell gene called CCR5. Some humans naturally carry this mutation and they are resistant to HIV, because the mutation alters the CCR5 protein in a way that prevents the virus from entering the T cells it tries to infect.

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