• Although the embryos would be for study only, and not intended for implantation, the research would mark a significant milestone: the first time human DNA had been altered so substantially that it would change the “germ line” — the eggs or sperm of any child produced from the embryo.
  • Theoretically that could allow parents in the not-too-distant future to essentially clean their own eggs and sperm of undesired genes — such as ones known to cause cancer — and prevent those genes from being passed on to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  • In terms of changing the germ line, “we are very close,” Church said. “In animal models, you can make animal sperm that has whatever alteration that you want. To say that we’re far away I think would be naive, to embrace it right away without proper testing would also be naive.”

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