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Scientists tweak DNA in viable human embryos

Scientists for the first time have used a CRISPR genome-editing technique to edit a disease mutation in viable human embryos, STAT reports. Researchers from China used a variation of CRISPR known as a base editor to correct a single amino acid that causes Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can affect the heart, bones, and joints. The researchers, who describe their work as “proof of principle” this month in Molecular Therapy, did not detect any off-target effects of CRISPR or unwanted insertions or deletions in the genomes of the seven modified embryos, none of which was implanted.

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