Superhumans: Chinese edit human genes to make HIV-resistant babies
Chinese scientists have been editing human embryos in lab dishes since 2015 using powerful gene editing methods which have led to the development of a new breed of humans altogether.
A Shenzhen-based science and technology university plans to eliminate the CCR5 human gene in an attempt to create babies resistant to various viruses such as HIV, cholera, and smallpox.
In the study, human embryos were modified before being implanted in a female uterus.
Data from the reports reveal that embryos were grown to at least 24 weeks and were potentially taken to full-term live birth but that can’t be confirmed and researchers have declined to comment.
As Antonio Regalado wrote in a recent piece for MIT Technology Review: “The birth of the first genetically tailored humans would be a stunning medical achievement, for both He and China. But it will prove controversial, too. Where some see a new form of medicine that eliminates genetic disease, others see a slippery slope to enhancements, designer babies, and a new form of eugenics.”
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