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Gene-editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9 is at the center of a lawsuit that could have repercussions for the future of genetic engineering. This method of altering the genetic codes of human beings could be used for purposes many people consider to be unethical.
University of California-Berkeley researchers discovered the gene-editing tool. The method might be able to prevent some inherited diseases, relieving patients of the threat of many serious ailments. It might also be developed into techniques to treat HIV and cancer and could also play a role in developing new food products with greater yields, feeding people around the world.
However, the gene-editing tool could also be used to create "designer babies" who would be custom-created to their parents' specifications.
"The high school interns in my lab could, in fact, do it. But we're not doing it, even though we can. We won't go beyond a certain line. It'snot appropriate ... We could change genes in babies. Something as simple as getting a blue-eyed baby instead of a brown-eyed baby. If we can do it, that means other labs can do it that aren't as constrained. And that worries me," said Jeanne Loring from the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute.For more click here