AP Exclusive: First Gene-Edited Babies Claimed in China

AP Exclusive: First Gene-Edited Babies Claimed in China

First let me say, this whole article should be read in full from the source at the bottom.

Twin genetically edited girls are claimed to have been born in China.

A new tool called CRISPR-cas9 makes operating on DNA possible.  Genes can be added or disabled.  Scientists have been editing genes in the last few years.  Only recently have adults with a deadly disease had DNA changed in attempts to preserve their own life.

7 couples using fertility treatments had altered embryos implanted resulting in one pregnancy.  All of the men in this project were HIV positive; all of the women were disease free.

The goal of this project was to alter DNA of a baby so that the child would be resistant to a future HIV infection.  By disabling gene CCR5 which forms a protein doorway that allows HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) to enter a cell.  By turning off this gene the risk of other viruses increases such as West Nile and the flu.

There are ways to prevent transmission of HIV to offspring with medications.  However, the couples in this experiment wanted to protect their future children from the possibility of contracting HIV.

It may take years to find out the effectiveness of this and then see what happens to the DNA of the children of these babies.  HIV and AIDS have a huge destructive impact on our world but it is treatable and preventable.  This method of changing genetic DNA to possibly prevent yourself from MAYBE contracting a disease seems like burning your house down to rid yourself of ants.

This just seems to be experimenting to experiment and not a justifiable reason to mess with human life.  Human life is precious!

Is this a leap forward for improved health for future generations?

Is gene editing similar to a vaccine?

Is this unethical human experimentation?

Key Points

  • 1The goal of this experiment was NOT to cure or prevent an inherited disease.