Nautilus

Welcome to the Unpredictable Era of Editing Human Embryos

Headlines and apocalyptic notions about designer babies proliferated last month after Chinese scientists published the results of a curious set of experiments on human embryos. The researchers were looking to understand whether gene-editing technology could correct, before birth, a malformed gene that can cause a potentially devastating blood disease. They found that the method introduced new errors and failed to fix the problem consistently within embryos, suggesting that both cures for genetic diseases and designer babies remain a ways off. But it did provide a moment to think about the unintentional experiments we will be running

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