Home Science World’s first gene-edited children are Lulu and Nana

World’s first gene-edited children are Lulu and Nana

Gene-edited children, CRISPR, Chinese researchersGene-edited children, CRISPR, Chinese researchers

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Technology has become advanced in several years and especially biotechnology. It is a technology involving biology. Alternation done in the genetic structure of organisms and making them genetically modified organisms is always in trend. When the first sheep was genetically altered then everyone was in shock. Dolly the sheep was the first GMO in the world. But Chinese researchers have made us believe that we can do alteration in our own children.

Gene-edited children, CRISPR, Chinese researchers
image source: RT.com

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, says the twins known as Lulu and Nana “came crying into the world as healthy as any other babies” several weeks ago, and are now at home with their parents.

Chinese team along with some US scientists did this. According to the Associated press,┬áHe, together with a Chinese team and the assistance of a US scientist — who traveled overseas as such DNA alteration is currently banned in the United States — were able to overwrite and tamper with the twins’ DNA through the gene modification tool CRISPR,

Medical alteration is done to prevent such diseases.

“Grace [the mother] started her pregnancy with one difference; after we sent her husband’s sperm into her eggs, we also sent a little bit of protein and some instructions for a gene surgery,” He says. “When Lulu and Nana were just a single cell, this removed the doorway through which HIV enters to infect people.”

Embryos provided by seven couples were altered, with one successful pregnancy so far. According to the scientist, the successful pregnancy, resulting in twins, was achieved using the sperm of a man known as Mark who is an HIV carrier and “never thought he could have children.”

He added that a few days later, the team performed gene sequencing to see if the changes had taken root. According to the scientist, the “surgery worked safely, as intended,” and no other gene was modified.

This trial was not published in any of the journals and it is conducted secretly. All the parents and children identity also kept anonymous, as true results are not out. If the results would be in favor of scientists then it is going to be a milestone in the history of biotechnology. A generation will be born which will be resistant to the diseases but it raises many ethical issues. There is a tool which is used to conduct this experiment. That tool is named as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR/CRISPR-Casg). It is the tool which helps in editing the genome of the organisms. By the use of CRISPR, many dangerous genes can be disabled.

“This is far too premature,” Dr. Eric Topol from the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California told the AP. “We’re dealing with the operating instructions of a human being. It’s a big deal.”

Scientists worldwide are still exploring the potential applications of the tool, but for some, tampering with the DNA of humans may have come too soon. These experiments could lead to the better future also but till when these techniques are used for a good cause.

 

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