Scientists edit human embryo to remove disease in world first

Scientists in China have performed 'chemical surgery' on human embryos to remove disease in a world first.

So-called 'chemical surgery' was performed by the team in China.

The BBC reports that the team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion “letters” of our genetic code.

They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia.

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Junjiu Huang, one of the researchers, told the BBC News website: “We are the first to demonstrate the feasibility of curing genetic disease in human embryos by base editor system.”

He said their study opens new avenues for treating patients and preventing babies being born with beta-thalassemia, “and even other inherited diseases”.

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