A new technique called CRISPR can edit or eliminate defects in genes that cause disease. Use of the technique in animals is progressing rapidly. The technique has already been used to edit a gene that affects cholesterol in a mouse’s liver. The CRISPR technology also has the potential to go beyond curing diseases. For example, experiments are under way to see if it can reduce populations of disease-carrying insects or produce hardier crops. Still, some scientists are urging the world to refrain from editing human genes until more is known about whether there may be potentially harmful results.
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