Human embryos two days after co-injection of CRISPR reagents and sperm. OHSULast week, word got out that a team of scientists had edited viable human embryos for the first time in the United States.
Details of the feat were sketchy at the time, but the researchers have published their results in Nature today, revealing their success in correcting a mutation in the gene MYBPC3 that causes a heart condition.
Chinese scientists first reported applying CRISPR to human embryos in 2015.
Dozens were treated with CRISPR, some as already-fertilized zygotes and others as earlier oocytes, into which they simultaneously injected sperm and the CRISPR reagents-Cas9, guide RNAs, and template DNA. See “Scientists Edit Viable Human Embryos in U.S.”.
Human embryos after co-injection of CRISPR reagents and sperm.
Amato says the CRISPR treatment would be used to increase the yield of healthy embryos, but Knoepfler says CRISPR would have to function perfectly to make itself worthwhile.