The researcher and biologist Fredrik Lanner, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, started to edit the DNA of healthy human embryos. This is the first reported action taken in gene editing on developing human embryos in the world; it’s another step onward to ultimately tailor-make a human being. Such procedure is still banned in most of the world, including the United States, were gene-editing is let on but implantation of a gene-edited human embryo in a womb is prohibited.
Gene-editing involves technologies such as the currently contended CRISPR, which uses the enzyme Cas-9 to target a specific gene sequence to removed it or add new ones around it. This is especially helpful or desirable for parents with inheritable diseases such as Huntington’s or ALS because it represents a chance for healthy children.
However, this represents a number of ethical questions; and scientists, researchers, and bioethicists all over the world are starting to raise concerns over Lanner’s new practice. Many of them are afraid of the consequences of this technology if it is misused.
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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.