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Several genetically modified people are already walking between us

The impression was that mankind crossed the borders. Chinese scientist He Xianqui said on November 26th that twins were born with genes that he changed to them while they were still embryos.

But in some ways, this is not news. several genetically modified people already go with us. In the mid-1990s, several fertility doctors from New Jersey suspected that some women could not get pregnant because of the defective material in the eggs. To rejuvenate, doctors from healthy women’s eggs took part in the materials and injected them into the eggs of their patients, before being infertile fertilization.

Doctors for this procedure did not receive permission from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And only after the patients undergoing this treatment gave birth to healthy babies, doctors shared the news.

Some people, however, were shocked. Our cells work with the help of mitochondria, each of which carries its own genes. That practically means that doctors in New Jersey may have created children who carry DNA of three people instead of two parents.

That was the case. The doctors found that some children were carrying the donor’s mitochondrial gene. In a 2001 report, they called this “the first case of genetic modification of people that resulted in normal, healthy children.”

The FDA was dissatisfied. She asked clinics to test these methods. Clinics stopped by injecting eggs. By then, however, dozens of children with mixed DNA were born. Doctors from New Jersey later found several of these children and found nothing unusual about their health.

Doctor He from the University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen said in November that he had created two genetically modified babies, changing DNA to embryos using a technology called Crispr.

He removed the DNA from the CCR5 gene. People whose genes do not have the mentioned genetic material are supposedly immune to HIV infections.

He briefly presented his work at a conference in Hong Kong. He was declared irresponsible. The Chinese government called it illegal.

Glenn Cohen of Harvard is thinking what could happen.

“A strict regulation will be passed,” he said. When individuals are afraid, “they create choices that don’t seem to be delicate.”

Scott Gottlieb from the FDA warns of “potential regulations and laws”. It would be a pity. It may come to a point when a change in the embryos will have a medical application.

Scientists in the United Kingdom looked at the use of therapies to replace mitochondria in human eggs. After the hearing, parliament approved the procedure in 2015.

The health ministry said in February that the treatment had been approved for two women at a clinic in Newcastle. The clinic refused to disclose whether the babies were born.

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