Looking back at 2017’s genetics breakthroughs

| | January 3, 2018
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It was a big year for the building blocks of life. Here were the most significant breakthroughs in genetics research of 2017.

In a landmark decision made this past August, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for childhood leukemia that works by genetically modifying a patient’s own blood cells to turn them into cancer killers.

In November, and for the first time ever, scientists edited a patient’s DNA while it was still inside his body. It was an effort to cure a genetic disorder, and the scientists attempted to so by permanently changing the patient’s genome.

Over the summer, scientists in the United States accomplished a major first: genetically modifying a human embryo to treat a common genetic heart disease.

In March, a British fertility clinic was granted permission to start performing what’s known as the ‘three-parent baby’ technique, a controversial in vitro fertilization procedure that prevents genetic diseases from being passed on to children by giving them three genetic ‘parents.’

The FDA approved the first consumer DNA tests for disease risk. In April, the FDA gave 23andMe the green light to market genetic tests for 10 diseases or conditions directly to consumers, among them Parkinson’s diseaselate-onset Alzheimer’s, and celiac disease.

Read full, original post: The Most Life-Changing Breakthroughs in Genetics of 2017

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