New York City, N.Y., Feb 1, 2019 / 16:01 pm
A scientist at Columbia University in New York is conducting controversial gene-editing experiments on human embryos, according to a recent report from NPR.
Dieter Egli, a developmental biologist, is experimenting with CRISPR technology to edit genes in order to prevent certain hereditary genetic diseases and mutations, such as blindness or cystic fibrosis.
In his lab, Egli uses human ova and sperm, along with the CRISPR tool, to create genetically edited embryos. He told NPR that the human embryos that he creates and edits are not allowed to develop beyond a day.
This kind of research is currently banned from receiving federal funding, but can be conducted using private funding. The Food and Drug Administration prohibits gene modification on viable human embryos, which means any genetically modified human embryos must be destroyed, rather than brought to term.