Gene-editing in Embryos

Gene-editing in Embryos

News: A new study published in the journal Nature Communications has warned of the potential consequences of gene editing technology, which is still not fully understood.

What is Gene-editing?
 Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome.
 Three technology mostly used for gene-editing are CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs).

Key Findings:
 Using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) to delete harmful diseasecausing mutations could create more problems.
 CRISPR may lead to extensive gene copying from one parent to another, potentially increasing the risk of diseases.
 The extent of the DNA damage induced by CRISPR and how cells respond to it is still not fully known.
 The technology used to test gene-edited embryos could reduce the accuracy of genetic testing, leading to the misdiagnosis of embryos.
 The researchers concluded that such limitations must be addressed before gene editing technology can be used.
Earlier, a Chinese scientist who announced the birth of gene-edited twins in 2018, had used CRISPR to make the embryos resistant to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 

Application of Geneediting

o Biofuels
o Disease and pest resistant crops
o Increasing food production
o Rebuild extinct animals
o Genetically modified crops (Corn, rice, soya)
o Engineered ecosystem - Wipe out disease carrying mosquitoes or ticks
o Targeted medicenes

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