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Gene-editing doesn't cure people

3 August 2017

An 8-cell embryo 

Dr Anthony McCarthy, Education and Communications Director for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has commented on today's news that scientists have, for the first time, used gene-editing to remove DNAfrom human embryos.

Dr McCarthy said: "This technique does not treat any existing human being, but purposely creates new embryos using damaged sperm injected into the egg at the same time as the preemptive 'cure'.  58 embryos were created by that technique alone, and some appeared to be healthy though we will never know as they were not transferred to a woman's body. When the embryo experimenters had finished with the embryos, survivors were deliberately destroyed.  It is hard to think of a worse use of gene editing technology, which should be used instead to treat existing patients ethically, in a way that does not affect future generations or expose the patient to undue pressure."

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