Reports

WHO to Create Gene Editing Expert Panel

The World Health Organization is establishing an expert panel to set guidelines and standards on the ethical and safety issues of gene editing, the body has announced. This follows the recent revelation that a scientist in China claimed he had edited the genes of twin babies to make them HIV resistant.

CRISPR-Edited Twins Allegedly Born in China

Twin girls in China have allegedly been born after having their embryonic genetic code modified using CRISPR. Chinese researcher He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology, claims to have turned off a gene called CCR5 to offer total protection against HIV, as well as smallpox and cholera.

Immature human eggs created from blood cells

Japanese scientists have created an immature human egg using stem cells created from blood cells, as reported in the Science journal. Although such eggs have been created in a lab before, this is the first time human blood has been used to do it.

MP’s Vote to Remain in EMA Post-Brexit

MPs vote 305-301 that the UK should negotiate to remain part of the European Medicines Agency following Brexit, sending “a clear message that patients and public health should be a top priority”.

CRISPR Gene-Drive Tested on Mammals for the First Time in History

CRISPR gene drives have been tested in laboratory mice for the first time, offering a way in which multiple genes in mice can be altered to model complex multigenic human diseases. Could this step eventually lead to the eradication of pest species or is the technology still too controversial?

Making Pregnancy Safer

Non-Invasive Pre-Natal Testing (NIPT) has the potential of bringing safer pregnancy testing to the wider NHS, but not without its challenges.

Weekend Reads

This week: Reversed ageing, pig organs, the future of humankind and citizen scientists using genetics to solve past crimes.