Pontifical Academy for Life

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Genetic Editing and Human Life

 

The first announcement of successful genetic editing (without unintended genetic mutations) on a human embryo by a team of scientists in Portland (Oregon) was recently published by the scientific Journal “Nature”.

After China, the use of CRISPR on man is now progressing in the USA.

The greatest difficulty encountered so far (in Chinese studies) is the emergence of “mosaicism” in embryos subjected to this technique.

The American group's studies, directed by Prof. Mitalipov, was apparently able—by using CRISPR in the early stages of fertilization with gametes of carriers of various hereditary diseases—to correct the genetic mutation that causes the onset of the disease and, at the same time, avoid unintended mutations.

Embryos were, however, destroyed two days after fertilization.

Beyond the “success” achieved by the application of the technique, it should be remembered that dozens of human beings, created specifically by means of artificial insemination so that CRISPR may be applied at the embryonic stage, become experimental objects and are then eliminated.

This is the LINK to the article.

For the commentary by Professor Colombo, an ordinary member of the Academy, on Vatican Radio, follow this LINK.

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