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chinese scientist claims first gene-edited babies

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The researcher, He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting so far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have: an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV.

He said the parents involved declined to be identified or interviewed, and he would not say where they lived or where the work was done. There is no independent confirmation of He’s claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it would be vetted by other experts.


a few years ago there was a severe hiv outbreak in northern china due to incompetent handling of blood donations, so i could see, in theory, a demand for hiv-resistant babies

the real question is whether this is the real deal

actually maybe the real question is whether we're headed for a gattaca type scenario ... or maybe a khan singh scenario
juice Inadvertently correct
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ukimalefu Wasn't me
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maurvir Outlier
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That was a good movie let down by some questionable science.
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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We're a LONG way from Gatacca or any other movie scenario. The problem with CRISPR is that it is a very BLUNT tech, AND our understanding of genetics is decades away from being complete.

IF this scientist has done what he is alleging, the best he can point at is that improved HIV-resistance. Let's say that this has indeed worked but another unavoidable CRISPR change was extreme dwarfism such that as adults these children will be limited to under a meter in height: would that be an acceptable trade-off for most parents?
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the scientist who made the claim has disappeared

suspicions of having been arrested by the chinese authorities
juice Inadvertently correct
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Thread title delivers sooner than expected.
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ha! i didn't even notice that
DukeofNuke FREE RADICAL
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Quote:
Scientist modified the DNA of twins to make them resistant to infection with HIV

How do you test that, anyway; without deliberately exposing one of them to HIV?
or, was that the plan all along?
I assume that that the gene variant was seen to be among the survivors following the HIV "epidemic".
DukeofNuke posted:
Quote:
Scientist modified the DNA of twins to make them resistant to infection with HIV

How do you test that, anyway; without deliberately exposing one of them to HIV?
or, was that the plan all along?

Dr. Steven Novella explains.

Basically there is a known sequence called CCR5 which if altered or removed can significantly improve resistance to HIV.

But not only does he bring up my objections but also points out that this will basically inject into the human genome many unknown changes. Chances are that that most will be in the so-called "junk" DNA and would be unlikely to become active, but even there there is the chance something useful will become not as useful or useless or--worse--dangerous.

Perhaps the girls will never reproduce and thus that "injection" will never happen. Or not.
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oh, this will end well, i'm sure ...