The verdict isn’t out on Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) baby controversy yet. But, Harvard researchers are already planning to move ahead with gene-editing sperm. Since the news broke out, it has been condemned by experts and the medical community.
The tumultuous controversy revolves around the experiment in China which involves altering genes. The Chinese scientist, He Jiankui claims to have successfully created twin girls whose altered genes protect them from HIV.
According to MIT Technology Review, at Harvard Stem Cell Institute, IVF doctor and scientist Werner Neuhausser states that he plans to begin using CRISPR to change the DNA code inside sperm cells. Their aim is to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Although, there are no embryos involved as yet, it may be a possibility in the near future. Currently, the researchers are practising to change the DNA in sperm. The research appears to be in its preliminary stage.
Gene-editing could possibly help shape the health of the future generation. While it has been considered revolutionary, it has been the mayhem of the medical and scientific community. It raises the critical question– whether gene-editing is ethical to prevent disease? The conflict also arises due to lack of transparency and possible infringement of the guidelines.