On Thursday, a US Food and Drug Administration review panel gave their stamp of approval to an experimental gene therapy for a rare inherited form of blindness. If ultimately approved by the agency, the technique would be the first gene therapy for an inherited disease approved in the United States -- and a landmark in the field of biomedicine.
Tagged With human genetic engineering
This week, news of a major scientific breakthrough brought a debate over genetically engineering humans front and centre. For the first time ever, scientists genetically engineered a human embryo on American soil in order to remove a disease-causing mutation. It was the fourth time ever that such a feat has been published on, and with the most success to date. It may still be a long way off, but it seems likely that one day we will indeed have to grapple with the sticky, complicated philosophical mess of whether, and in which cases, genetically engineering a human being is morally permissible.
China has long been ahead of the US when it comes to human genetic engineering -- there, the idea seems far less morally fraught. But for the first time, scientists in the United States have now genetically modified a human embryo, according to a new report in the MIT Technology Review. At Oregon Health and Science University, the publication reports, scientists are using the gene-editing technique CRISPR to alter the DNA of a "large number of one-cell embryos."