Just how useful is human gene editing?

In the near-term, gene editing is not likely to be useful. Even in the long-term, it may not be very practical.

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  • Once perfected, gene editing is likely to be useful only under limited conditions.
  • Multigenic diseases like schizophrenia and cardiovascular disease are probably too complicated to be fixed by gene editing.
  • Embryo screening is a far more effective way to achieve the same objective.
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Image: Biswarup Ganguly
  • The eggs contain an antiviral protein called human interferon beta.
  • This protein is known to combat some forms of cancer and other conditions.
  • The unusual technique could one day provide cheaper and more effective treatments.
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When genomics lets us design our children, how can we keep it fair for all?

Granted, genetic manipulation has been a dream for decades. Here’s what is different now.

Learning childcare at Beijing's Nanny University. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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Scientists Use CRISPR Gene Editing to Create the World's First Mutant Social Insect

Researchers succeed in deleting key genes from ants, significantly modifying their behavior.

credit: Rockefeller University.

A staple of bad science fiction, mutant ants have been more of a figment of imagination rather than scientific reality. We’ve genetically altered mice and fruit flies, but growing mutant ants has eluded scientists due to the complex life cycle of the little critters. Now two teams announced that they managed to edit out certain genes from lab ants, altering their behavior.  

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Embryonic Human DNA Has Just Been Successfully Repaired in the U.S.

U.S. scientists have successfully repaired DNA in a human embryo for the first time.

Image source: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

American researchers have announced the successful repair of a human embryo's genes. As reported in the journal Nature, they used CRISPR-cas9. On one hand, their success represents an exciting breakthrough and on the other, it's a stark reminder of all we don't yet understand about human genetics. That's because the repair of the gene occurred in a way that researchers didn't anticipate.

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