Kashmiri doctor Sanjiv Kaul plays lead role in gene editing of human embryos

The world is not far away from having ‘designer babies’. Yes, for the first time, genetically modified human embryos have been developed in the US and a Kashmiri doctor – Sanjiv Kaul has played the lead role in the experiment.

Scientists have now got a breakthrough in using a gene editing tool to correct a disease-causing gene mutation in human embryos and prevent it from passing to future generations.

However, it is not for the first time that an experiment has been done China had attempted this earlier.

As per the reports, a team of scientists altered human embryos using a new technique called CRISPR CAS9 that edits genes and this experiment helped in removing a fatal mutation that leads to heart attacks.

Till now, human embryos were not implanted in humans. But this experiment has given the world a new hope for having designer babies soon. The latest research published in British Journal Nature shows the first genetically modified human embryos made in America.

The team that was involved in experiment comprised South Korean, Chinese and American scientists. They demonstrated the way how they could edit out the faulty gene that causes heart attacks in later life due to the thickening of heart walls.

One of the team members who lead the team is Dr Kaul. A Kashmir-born doctor who studied in Delhi and later immigrated to America.

“Although the rare heart mutation affects men and women of all ages, it is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people, and it could be eliminated in one generation in a particular family,” said co-author Sanjiv Kaul, a professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine) in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute.

However, there are more steps to follow but this experiment has paved a way to germline repairs followed by gene enhancements.

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