Researchers used gene editing technology to successfully repair a heart disease-causing genetic mutation. (Oregon Health & Science University via AP)
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In a first, researchers safely repaired a disease-causing gene in human embryos, targeting a heart defect best-known for killing young athletes – a big step toward one day preventing a list of inherited diseases."This is definitely a leap forward," agreed developmental geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge of Britain's Francis Crick Institute.Today, couples seeking to avoid passing on a bad gene sometimes have embryos created in clinics so they can discard those that inherit the disease and attempt pregnancy only with healthy ones, if there are any. Gene editing in theory could rescue diseased embryos. Instead, the newly forming embryos made their own perfect fix without that outside help, reported Oregon Health & Science University senior researcher Shoukhrat Mitalipov.We all inherit two copies of each gene, one from dad and one from mom – and those embryos just copied the healthy one from the donated egg.
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