Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical First genetically edited human babies reportedly born

  1. Nov 25, 2018 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award


    As detailed in the AP news story, most scientists believe the work to be unethical as the safety of the CRISPR gene editing technique used has not yet been fully established.

    See also: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612458/exclusive-chinese-scientists-are-creating-crispr-babies/

    For more information about the CRISPR gene editing technique, see the following PF Insights article: https://www.physicsforums.com/insig...iting-technologies-wont-lead-designer-babies/

    For other discussions of human genetic engineering on PF see:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2018 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Nov 29, 2018 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Nothing about this surprises me.
  5. Dec 4, 2018 at 1:52 PM #4
  6. Dec 4, 2018 at 8:45 PM #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Here is a NY Times article by Carl Zimmer about another kind of transgenic humans, those that have received what amounts to mitochondrial transplants, which replaces the mother's mitochondria (carrying a deleterious mutation in a mitochondrial genome encoded gene).
    This results in a fertilized zygote with three parents genetically speaking: the mother's nuclear genome, the father's nuclear genome, and the mitochondrial genome derived from a third party.

    Apparently, people from these origins, have been born and Walk Among Us!
  7. Dec 5, 2018 at 8:42 PM #6
    There's so little to be gained by doing what the Chinese team did, I wonder if those embryos were planted in the womb of an HIV+ woman. That, fundamentally, makes sense beyond a "proof of concept" or benign genomic alteration.
  8. Dec 5, 2018 at 9:15 PM #7
    On the contary, human experimentation is the highest form of demonstration available in bio-medicine.

    Given 20 years followup or more of such a cohort without any huge side-effects, would probably highly accelerate the process from in vitro to in vivo studies, eventually even leading to similar cohorts and or even larger studies such as GWAS and/or RCT.

    It goes without saying that for the time being, ethically the cons clearly outweigh the pros to create such a cohort, which is why a techniquesuch as CRISPR/Cas has to go through all the regular hoops before reaching the stage of clinical research; once such a cohort exists however, close followup is practically a necessity.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted