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Did CRISPR really fix a genetic mutation in these human embryos?

Accepted submission by Anonymous Coward at 2018-08-09 14:12:31

Biologists who last year made a blockbuster — but controversial — claim that they had fixed a disease-causing mutation in human embryos using CRISPR gene editing have released fresh evidence in support of their work. Critics argued that the researchers’ evidence wasn’t persuasive and that the feat did not seem biologically plausible, intensifying the existing controversy surrounding the use of gene editing in human embryos to prevent diseases.

Now, a year after the study was published in Nature1, its authors, led by reproductive biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, have backed up their claims with new data2, published on 8 August alongside a pair of letters critiquing the original results.3,4

Whatever happens next, it is likely that questions about whether it is possible to repair mutations in human embryos will persist until other researchers can repeat the feat — no easy task in a field that is strictly regulated, and even illegal in some countries. []

Original Submission