A new future to world’s health arrived, a pool of scientists and researchers has utilized gene editing to remove fatal blood disorder from human embryos.
Experts from Sun Yat-sen University have used gene editing to correct a potentially fatal blood condition.
The known operation was considered as the first ever accomplishment that represents the first step to a future where we literally edit disease out of our bodies, says website report.
In medical field, beta-thalassemia is a blood disorder that plagues individuals throughout the entirety of their lives. As of posting, there is no truly viable cure.
The only real hope that people have of overcoming this disease is either a stem cell or bone marrow transplant; however, these procedures are rarely performed due to the life-threatening risk that comes with them.
Aside from the risk, the cost behind those options could ill patients worldwide.
As such, people who suffer from beta-thalassemia will need to have lifelong blood transfusions and specialist care – and the disease is genetic.
Furthermore, Children who contract it from their parents may develop life-threatening anemia, blood clots, misshapen bones, jaundice …the list goes on and on.
With the help of growing and evolving medical equipments and research, here comes genetic engineering.
Talking more on the historic operation, scientists from Sun Yat-sen University have utilized gene editing to correct the error in DNA that causes this condition—and they did it in actual human embryos.
Specifically, the team used something known as “base editing” – which is also known as “chemical surgery” – to alter the fundamental building blocks of DNA, ultimately correcting a single error out of the staggering three billion “letters” that make up our genetic code by converting one DNA base into another.
Also, the success of this procedure hinges on the fact that this life-threatening blood disorder stems from a change to just a single base in a person’s genetic code, which is known as a point mutation.
In the end, Sun Yat-sen team were able to successfully edit this single change and correct it.
According to reports, the work was done on lab-made embryos that were not implanted; however, the promise of this work cannot be overstated.
Speaking with the BBC News website, David Liu, the Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University who pioneered base editing, noted that base editing holds remarkable promise for a number of individuals worldwide.
“About two-thirds of known human genetic variants associated with disease are point mutations. So base editing has the potential to directly correct, or reproduce for research purposes, many pathogenic [mutations],” Liu told BBC.