From BGR: China sprints ahead of the US in DNA dabbling with over 80 CRISPR patients and rising

Modern medicine is an amazing thing, but when we start talking about tweaking our DNA things start to sound a little scary. The potentially frightening nature of altering human DNA — we’re getting awfully close to “playing God” with this kind of stuff — delayed scientists in the US who wanted to push forward and test the CRISPR gene editing technology with humans.

In China things are a little bit different, and a new report in the Wall Street Journal reveals that not only are Chinese scientists ahead of the curve when it comes to DNA manipulation, but they already have dozens of CRISPR patients.

Doctors in China are able to forge ahead with gene editing without jumping through nearly as many hoops as are required in the United States and many other countries. Rather than years of wading through regulations and other requirements before beginning trials, doctors in China are essentially free to dabble with the technology in the hopes of using altered DNA to cure patients of all kinds of devastating diseases.

By taking cells out of a patient, modifying them, and then infusing them back into the individuals, doctors hope to be able to cure everything from HIV to cancer. The first US trials using CRISPR, being spearheaded by the University of Pennsylvania, are slated to begin soon, but scientists in China have already been using it for years. The first few dozen human trials of the technology were conducted as far back as 2015. In total, at least 86 individuals have already had their genes edited in China.

But as promising as gene editing might sound to someone with an incurable disease, the consequences of altering an individual’s DNA are still largely unclear. Beyond the ethical quandary of altering the very fabric of what makes us human, many scientists fear that while tweaking a person’s DNA could benefit them in the short term, it could cause even more devastating issues down the line.

Many argue that the regulations and red tape slowing the progress of CRISPR research is a necessary evil to ensure things don’t spin out of control. There’s plenty of fear in the scientific community that China’s relentless push forward could end badly, and perhaps hamper the world’s understanding and acceptance of gene editing for medical purposes.

Read more

From Digital Trends: CRISPR gene editing may have just become a whole lot more accurate

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal may have demonstrated a major breakthrough in CRISPR gene editing: Repairing mutations in a massive 90 percent of target cells. It could one day help eliminate diseases.
The post CRISPR gene editing may have…

Read more

From Digital Trends: CRISPR gene editing may have just become a whole lot more accurate

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal may have demonstrated a major breakthrough in CRISPR gene editing: Repairing mutations in a massive 90 percent of target cells. It could one day help eliminate diseases.
The post CRISPR gene editing may have…

Read more

From Digital Trends: With CRISPR, geneticists have a powerful new weapon in the battle against ALS

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have been able to disable the defective gene that triggers ALS in mice. Could a human treatment be on the horizon in the near future?
The post With CRISPR, geneticists have a powerful new weapon in …

Read more

From Geek.com: New Gene-Editing Tools Aim to Fight Disease

Scientists have developed genetic tools that help solve two of the problems hampering genome-editing superweapon CRISPR. These discoveries provide new hope for treating, or even curing, certain genetic diseases. The first is led […]
The post New …

Read more

From Digital Trends: Genetically optimized corn is more nutritious, could revolutionize agriculture

Scientists at Rutgers University and China’s Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences have come up with a way to improve the nutritional value of corn using smart gene-editing technology.
The post Genetically optimized corn is more nutritious, could …

Read more

From Engadget RSS Feed: Anti-doping agency to ban gene editing starting in 2018

Anti-doping agencies are constantly playing whack-a-mole with cheating, as new drugs pop up as soon as tests are found for the old ones. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) now says it wants to to crush a new one before it grows into a monster…

Read more

From Geek.com: Researchers Repair Human Embryos with “Chemical Surgery”

A team at Sun Yat-sen University in China has managed to use “chemical surgery” to rewrite parts of the genetic code of a human embryo. If this sounds familiar, you might be thinking […]

The post Researchers Repair Human Embryos with “Chemical Surgery” appeared first on Geek.com.

Read more

From Gizmodo: New ‘Chemical Surgery’ Technique Repairs Mutations in Human Embryos

For the first time, a research team from China used a new technique to fix a blood disorder in human embryos. The scientists performed “chemical surgery�—a procedure that rewrites errors in genetic code instead of snapping and replacing strands of faulty DNA, which is the central strategy employed by the CRISPR gene…

Read more…

Read more

From Engadget RSS Feed: Gene editing could make wheat safe for celiac sufferers

Celiac disease is thought to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Although doctors are still grappling with the causes of the autoimmune disorder, one thing is for sure: If you’re diagnosed it with it, you should avoid gluten. But maintaining long-lasti…

Read more