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  • Writer's pictureElle Pedri

Re-Creating Humans

This week, I’ll be micro-blogging about heritable gene editing, i.e. the process by which human reproductive cells (sperm, egg cells) or embryos are “edited” to produce children.

The primary question is this:

The story is familiar but with a twist.

Boy meets girl. They fall in love and get married.

Among their wedding gifts is a DNA ancestry kit. Out of curiosity, they submit their DNA samples. Results return with the information that they are each “carriers” for an autosomal recessive disorder. This means that although they do not have health problems, they each “carry” one copy of the abnormal gene. There’s a 50% chance that their children will also be “carriers” (the two middle babies in the below chart) and a 25% chance that they’ll have a child who carries both copies of the abnormal gene and suffers from the disease (purple baby in the below chart).

Autosomal Recessive Disorder

If you were in this couple, would you avail yourself of a procedure that promised to edit out the abnormality in your genes so all your potential children would be neither “carriers” nor sick?

More about the procedure tomorrow.

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