Scientists have moved a step closer to curing hereditary disorders by safely repairing a gene in a human embryo.
A joint team from The United States and South Korea allowed embryos to develop for five days and succeeded in normalizing a mutant gene.
It is a scientific first and could potentially open the door to preventing up to ten thousand hereditary disorders.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov; director of the Centre for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, Oregon Health & Science University said: “It’s actually molecular scissors that would allow you to direct the scissors into a very specific site and specific gene, in this case we would direct into the mutant gene and induce a cut in the DNA. So the DNA is like a long string and this molecular scissors would cut where the mutation is. The embryos usually will respond by repairing this cut.”
The breakthrough could cure up to 10,000 hereditary disorders.