Should we edit human DNA? This is one of the most controversial questions of our time, and an intense and sometimes acrimonious debate has raged over it.
Editors Note: Please consult our archives on CRISPR, gene editing for more information as to what is actually going on. Researchers plan to use this to create designer babies, remove the hand of God from creation, and oh yeah – bring back the Nephilim.
According to the National Public Radio (NPR), however, one maverick Swedish scientist has jumped ahead of the pack. Developmental biologist Fredrik Lanner of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has publically acknowledged that he is already gene editing healthy human embryos that could hypothetically develop into a baby – and it’s highly likely that he’s not actually alone in his controversial endeavor.
Previous reports of Chinese researchers editing genes in unviable human embryos, those that cannot develop into a person, surfaced online over the last year or so, with some culminating in a few research papers. In one example, a team attempted to edit these types of human embryos in order to make them HIV resistant.
In any case, this research all happened behind closed doors, and it’s not clear if any viable human embryos have also been used. Some researchers, though, have their suspicions.
On the other hand, Lanner is the first to openly and clearly state that he is conducting gene editing with viable human embryos. A reporter from NPR was allowed to watch as members of his laboratory injected viable human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) with CRISPR/Cas9 elements, a powerful gene-editing tool that has set the field of genetics alight with its remarkable abilities.
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