Human embryo genetic editing: hope or pipe dream?
VOLUME 116, ISSUE 1, P25-26
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., M.S., Zev Rosenwaks, M.D.
Like many other technological developments in reproductive medicine, human embryo genetic editing has generated considerable hope and excitement, although it has also provoked great apprehension. The excitement and hope rooted in this technology are understandable. Genome editing tools, such as CRISPR-Cas9, promise to transform biomedical research and clinical care. The Nobel Prize awarded in 2020 to its developers, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, recognized the groundbreaking nature of this genomic tool (1). With it, scientists can now add, remove, or alter genetic material at specific locations in the genome. For instance, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats-Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9) is significantly more efficient, accurate, and affordable than older technologies used for genomic manipulations.