Parents worried about passing on genetic disorders to their children have hope: Gene editing

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Gene editing — which is still not a reality for parents out there — is the process of genetically modifying embryos, eggs, or sperm in order to fix genes that cause severe disease or disability. While one can only hope that this technology will also help the near-sighted folks out there one day, the obvious priority in gene editing research is what scientists call “heritable germline editing.”

Germline editing is a procedure that would correct the genes involved in serious, genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, or [ALS]. If successful, individuals whose genes carry scary diseases could have children without worrying whether they would be passing on a lifelong struggle.

At the moment, gene editing may sound like something straight out of the pages of a science-fiction novel, but…humans have already undergone gene editing treatment…In China, a human patient was treated with the promising CRISPR gene-editing technique…with researchers switching off a gene in an attempt to treat his lung cancer.

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The fact that a clinical trial using CRISPR has already been carried out is promising, but it will likely be a while before parents are able to use gene editing to switch off genetic diseases for future generations.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What Is Gene Editing? Here’s What It Could Mean For Parents

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