The idea of targeting disease and disorders before the baby has been completely formed during pregnancy has been around for years. The practical science, as well as the moral implications that emerge from it, have been debated and tested numerous times, with no clear end in sight. At least, that’s what we thought.
One research team, a collaboration between American and South Korean institutions, have managed to edit embryos to remove faulty DNA. They have managed to remove gene malfunction that causes a deadly heart disease that is passed down through families. With this technology, they can reportedly stop diseases like this from being transferred to the children of the afflicted.
The team focused on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart disorder. The disorder affects one in 500 people and can suddenly stop the heart from beating. It all comes down to an error in a single gene, which has a 50/50 chance of being passed on through the family. When this process is successful, it can prevent the disease from ever occurring.