— The Conversation (@ConversationUK) February 1, 2016
Modern science has the ability to manipulate the DNA of a human embryo. In a world’s first, scientists in China announced last year that they had edited a mutated gene which causes a blood disorder in a human embryo.
Now UK scientists have won permission to genetically modify human embryos too.
But how exactly does it work? And what happens if edited genes are inherited by future generations? Could we be looking at a future of “designer babies”, or indeed a future of “designer humans”? All you need to know in our roundup.
What is genome editing?
The science of cutting and pasting DNA to precisely modify genes. This is how scientists go about editing genes in the lab.
Can modified embryos become actual human beings?
UK scientists are currently not allowed to implant a genetically modified embryo into a woman’s womb. But with more genetic research now allowed, this could be a future possibility.