Scientists Test 'Gene Therapy' for Babies

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Scientists are one step closer to weeding out inherited diseases from babies.
   
The London Independent reported that researchers are working on a new technique that would swap genes in unfertilized eggs.
    
Once fertilized, the embryos would be planted in women through in vitro fertilization.
    
Scientists have had success testing the procedure in monkeys and now they want to conduct clinical trials on people.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, of Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton, Oregon was published in the journal Nature.

"In theory, this research has demonstrated it is possible to use this therapy in mothers carrying mitochondrial DNA diseases so that we can prevent those diseases from being passed on to their offspring," he said.
    
Researchers may be able to do the tests through a provision in the law. Scientists said they plan to apply for ethical approval to conduct the tests in humans in a few years.

"We believe with proper governmental approvals, our work can rapidly be translated into clinical trials for humans, and approved therapies," Mitalipov added.
    
However, this particular type of gene therapy is banned in Britain due to safety concerns and ethical issues.
    
British officials are worried the therapy might one day lead to designer babies.

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