Modified Human Embryos to make them Immune to HIV

The procedure is still controversial among the global medical community.

CHINA – A team of scientists from the Medical University in Guangzhou (South China) announced that it has achieved human embryos resistant HIV , the virus that causes AIDS, through genetic modification. The technique is still controversial procedure between the global medical community.

Using 26 embryos “with defects and unsuitable for fertility treatment” in the words of the leader of the medical team, Fan Yong, four of them were able to develop immunity to HIV, although the rest showed “unplanned mutations “.

The research was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, where it is clarified that all embryos were destroyed after three days.

The modification was performed using a new technique called CRISPR-Cas9.

It is the second time a group because Chinese medical controversial experiments on embryonic genetic modification, after in April last year, another team of Zhongshan University, also in Guangzhou, announced that they had manipulated first genomes of these embryos.

Also the CRISPR-Cas9 method was used with embryos from a fertility clinic.

The modification of embryos is still a question debated in the world because although it seems useful for the treatment of hereditary diseases, including some cancers, may also be used for the design of “designer babies” thus present ethical dilemmas.

In any case, the techniques are still relatively new and more research has to be done is modified embryos cannot develop to be complete human beings, yet.

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