Deadly Heart Disease Gene Removed from Human Embryos in Revolutionary Study

Reports have surfaced that experiments on creating viable genetically modified human embryos were successful in the United states. Though details are scarce and CRISPR was used to modify genes and embryos were disposed after a few days.

The most enticing detail that was missing spun around the type of procedure that was applied in modifying the genes. The team led by researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, modified many genes associated with hereditary disease. At that time, the disease in question was not revealed, but later the details were made available through a peer-reviewed study. The disease in scrutiny was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that can kill a healthy individual. It is often without symptoms until the deadly attack on the affected individual which makes it principally risky to keep diagnosed.

The disease thickens the muscle wall, i.e. the myocardium and makes it hard. Though after treatment mostly people live, however common conditions lead to irregular heartbeat, which can cause a cardiac arrest.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, if a parent has a defective copy of a gene called MYBPC3, there is a 50 percent probability of a gene mutation is being transferred to your child. The gene is the target of these embryonic experiments and currently reported and confirmed that the test was successful.

In the past, only vitro fertilization (IVF) would reduce the risk that a child might inherit the possibly fatal gene. Although it is still in proof-of-concept phase, this new experiment suggests that the near future will feature a way of not simply “preemptively curing” a person from the disease, but removing it from posterity forever.

The team observed space for improvement, though their method made sure that 42 of the 58 embryos were free from the gene only five days after incubation – a success rate of about 72 percent – in ideal condition they would achieve a 100 percent success rate.

It is important to ensure that the editing in gene does not cause unplanned transmutations elsewhere in the embryo. Currently only one embryo mutation errant.

The future – that in which hereditary genetic diseases can be obliterated once and for all – is promising. The moral and ethical debates will undoubtedly continue, but science is moving forward anyway.

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