The first approval for use of public funding for human-genome editing

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The existing laboratory sites are at Mill Hill and Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London and Clare Hall in Hertfordshire. Scientists have continued worked at the problem in the hopes of one day eliminating certain human illnesses. This is the first time when such research gone through a properly regulatory system and been approved.

Niakan’s approval only allows the study of embryos for 14 days at a time, and her lab will not attempt to implant the modified embryos into women. During the first seven days after fertilization it happens the transformation from a fertilized egg to a structure called a blastocyst, containing 200-300 cells. The goal is to study the genetic changes that occur during the earliest stages of life, which could help improve in vitro fertilization techniques and prevent early miscarriages. The experiments could start in the next few months.

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