Loading...

Breaking

Loading...

British Scientists Granted Permission To Genetically Modify Human Embryos


The Francis Crick Institute could begin the controversial experiments as early as March after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) gave the green light this morning.
The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development.
It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has been undertaken and the first time it has been directly approved by a regulator. A Chinese team carried out similar experiments last year to widespread outcry.
‘Understanding the crucial process of embryo development could help us understand causes of infertility, miscarriage and some genetic diseases’ – Alastair Kent, Director of Genetic Alliance UK
Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.
If scientists knew which genes were crucial for healthy cell division, then they could screen out embryos where their DNA was not working properly, potentially preventing miscarriages and aiding fertility.
The initial pilot, which will also have to pass an ethics evaluation, will involve up to 30 embryos and the team would like to work on a further three genes, which could bring the total of to 120.
Critics warn that allowing embryos to be edited opens the door to designer babies and genetically modified humans.
“The HFEA now has the reputation of being the first regulator in the world to approve this uncertain and dangerous technology” – Anne Scanlan of the charity LIFE
Anne Scanlan of the charity LIFE said: “The HFEA now has the reputation of being the first regulator in the world to approve this uncertain and dangerous technology. It has ignored the warnings of over a hundred scientists worldwide and given permission for a procedure which could have damaging far-reaching implications for human beings.”
But lead scientist Dr Kathy Niakan said that the research could fundamentally change our understanding of human biology and give hope to prospective parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment