The First Genet­i­cally Mod­i­fied Human Could Exist Within 2 Years

HempThe biotech firm Edi­tas Med­i­cine says that humans who have had their DNA genet­i­cally mod­i­fied could exist within the next 2 years. The com­pany announced that it will soon start the first tri­als of what it calls a ground­break­ing new technique.

U.S.-based Edi­tas is striv­ing to become the first lab in the world to edit the DNA of patients suf­fer­ing from leber con­gen­i­tal amau­ro­sis (LCA), a genetic con­di­tion that causes

severe vision loss at birth. Some LCA patients also expe­ri­ence cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem con­di­tions, such as epilepsy, devel­op­men­tal delays and motor skill impairment.

LCA is said to be caused by defects in a gene respon­si­ble for the cre­ation of a pro­tein that is vital to vision. Edi­tas Med­i­cine sci­en­tists believe they can fix the mutated DNA using gene-​editing tech­nol­ogy known as CRISPRs.

CRISPRs, which stands for “clus­tered reg­u­larly inter­spaced short palin­dromic repeats,” allows sci­en­tists to edit genes “with pre­ci­sion, effi­ciency and flex­i­bil­ity,” Giz­modo explained in a May 5, 2015 arti­cle. Researchers have report­edly been able to cre­ate mon­keys with tar­geted muta­tions and pre­vent HIV infec­tion in human cells using this piece of biotechnology.

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