Huge Milestone: UK Approves CRISPR Editing on Human Embryos

01/02/2016 - 3 minutes

This could be a HUGE game-changer for Europe’s research on stem cells, and more broadly Gene Editing….

francis_crick_institute_human_embryos_research_CRISPR_EUResearch on human embryos is a very touchy subject. And when you want to allow the use of the most powerful gene-editing tool on them, it’s becomes even touchier. Research on human embryos has been forbidden almost everywhere (with exception to China in early 2015), also for academic purposes only.

The UK is now the first European (almost European) to approve it.

This decision emanates from the UK regulatory body Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (what a catchy name) which has finally granted authorisation to researchers at the Francis Crick Institute (led by Kathy Niakan), who could start within the next few months.

The goal is to more deeply understand the genes human embryos need to develop successfully (and from experience, it’s hard to understand a biological process without being able to play with it).

And in this way,

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