UK Scientists Seek Permission to Edit Human Genes

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Gene Editing

In a bid to determine why some women suffer from miscarriages, scientists from United Kingdom have sought government permission to edit genes of human embryos. The permission has been sought for a series of experiments that will figure out the earliest stages of human development.

The sole purpose of the experiment is to improve embryo development after in vitro fertilisation which can provide better clinical treatments for infertility. However scientists do not intend to genetically alter embryos for use in human reproduction.

Earlier this year in April 2015, Chinese scientists caused international furore when they altered human embryo by using a gene-editing technique called CrisprCas9. The technique allows researchers to edit any gene of their choice. CrisprCas9 can be used for two purposes- to treat genetic defects or to create babies with desired traits such as intelligence or athletic ability.

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