Embryo Editing Breakthrough: Potential application for genetic disease

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Nicole Mowbray has an inherited heart disease and a defibrillator implanted in her chest.The illness causes the muscles of her heart to thicken, and it”s caused by a defect in a single gene.There”s a fifty per cent chance it will be passed on to any children she may have…SOT: Nicole Mowbray: ”I wouldn”t want to pass on something that caused my child to have a limited life or a painful life or a life of risk. That obviously does come to the front of my mind when I think about having children.”Cardio myopathy affects one in every 500 people and can cause the heart to stop beating.It”s the most common cause of sudden death in athletes.There”s now the possibility that the disorder could be prevented, after a team of scientists in the US and South Korea successfully repaired the gene that causes it in a human embryo…SOT: Sanjiv Kaul, Oregon Health and Science University: ”It”s a pretty devastating disease… if you see somebody dying on the basketball court this is probably what they have. And currently, we treat those patients with medication and also put a delifiberator to prevent them from dying suddenly which is the way they die. So if we can correct this gene theoretically in an entire generation after testing we could eliminate this gene and there are ten thousand genetic mutations that are associated with human disease so the breast cancer is one and two so that the potential is enormous.”But the team says the therapy didn”t always correct the defect…SOT: Shoukhrat Mitalipov, US Centre for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy: ”Even though the embryo is a very good way of repairing but there are certain number of embryos that won”t repair. We think the efficiency is about 50 to 60 per cent this is how they would repair and others we would not know what to do.”While it represents a significant breakthrough, the team says further research is needed before the technology is ready to be tested.

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