Genetic Engineering First on a Successful Human Embryo

Human Embryo
Scientists from Oregon Health and Science University successfully made the first genetic engineering in humans. Technology Review news page reported, through the trial, they managed to fix defective genes and cause congenital diseases effectively.

Although successful, the team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov does not allow the embryo to grow further. This is to comply with the medical convention of "human orders".

Mitalipov, Head of the Embryonic Cells Center and Genetic Therapy, explains, this genetic engineering involves the latest method of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). This method uses the Cas9 enzyme that cuts and replaces the engineered gene.

"Our study clearly proves that this method is successful, fast, and efficient," Mitalipov said.

The workings of CRISPR-Cas9 are like scissors. It trims the damaged or unwanted parts of the genome. Then, replace it with a new series of genes (DNA). Previously, Chinese scientists also managed to apply this method.
However, genetic engineering performed directly on human embryos is still in debate. In an international meeting held at the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, by 2015, scientists and ethicists will not be held accountable for this method until they are tested.

Of course, the MitaliPov study adds to the long list of successful genetic engineering methods that should be taken seriously.