Impact Ethics

Heritable Genetic Modification

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Recent News

In August 2017, Shoukrat Mitalipov’s lab published a highly anticipated paper (Correction of a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos) on CRISPR gene editing of human embryos in Nature.  The CRISPR target was the MYBPC3 mutation that is associated with a fatal type of heart defect. The study co-authors reported the discovery of a novel self-repair mechanism to correct this disease-causing mutation. (See relevant commentary by F. Baylis). A month later, Dieter Egli and colleagues have contested the key finding “that human embryos are capable of effectively repairing disease-causing mutations by using a normal copy of the gene from the second parent as a template.” They have suggested a number of alternative explanations for the observed phenomenon. Mitalipov and colleagues stand behind their original conclusion.