One year on from the birth of world’s first CRISPR-edited babies in China, Jennifer Doudna, writes in Science what this and the ensuing controversy has meant for the field and society’s perception of the technology, as well as to outline what should be done next.
eGenesis has announced that it is now testing pig organs on primates to see if they safe for human use. If successful, this practice could solve the current shortage of human organs for transplantation. The company has declared that the pig organs are the most highly engineered ever created by surgeons.
Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov has announced his intentions to produce further gene-edited babies, ignoring the scientific consensus that this should not be done until an ethical framework is constructed to regulate the science involved. Rebrikov’s plans could occur before the end of the year if he receives approval in time.
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who created the first gene-edited twin children last year, could have unknowingly shortened their lives by more than 1.9 years. A study into the DNA and death records of 400,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank found the genetic mutations to gene CCR5 were “of quite strong effect.”
Questions around legality, protecting privacy and ensuring quality of data in DNA sequencing all need answering, a symposium recently held at the University of Minnesota has announced. LawSeq, a $2 million project looking to solve the issue of privacy and legality in sequencing, is exploring how to ensure the legal world catches up with current science.
The scientists of seven nations have called for a halt to gene-editing experiments seeking to alter heritable traits in human babies.
The first results of the BabySeq Project, a study to determine whether deep dives into infant DNA could uncover more diseases, and whether making this procedure routine after childbirth would be worth it, have been published.
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.
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.
The Code is an agreement between Government and the insurance industry – with a commitment from insurers to not ask customers about predictive genetic test results when applying for insurance.
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have solved a mystery that has lingered ever since the dangers of the drug first became apparent: how did the drug produce such severe fetal harm?
Americans are more likely to anticipate negative than positive effects from widespread use of gene-editing technology.