Rewrite DNA and cure all diseases?
For the first time in history, a new scientific discovery on DNA will correct genetic defects in human embryos Sun Yat-Sen University’s team immediately contacted the BBC to communicate the new scientific discovery.
The University team carried out a highly precise „chemical surgery“ on human embryos which enabled a genetic disease to be removed.
This genetic technique is called „basic editing“ and allows to correct a single error on the three billion „letters“ that make up the genetic code of our DNA.
The new technology is able to modify the basic elements of DNA which are: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. These elements are also known with the letters A, C, G and T.
All instructions for creating and developing a human body are all gathered in these elements.
The „basic editing“ is a progression of a known genetic editing technique, whose name is Crispr. A technique that has already largely contributed to the advancement of science.
The Chinese University team began by studying one of the most common and even most dangerous blood diseases. Beta-thalassemia, better known in Italy as „Mediterranean anemia“.
This disease is genetic, is therefore transmitted by parents and manifests itself due to a lack of some genes in the DNA.
The Chinese team modified the genetic code and exactly converted the G with an A, correcting the error. Junjiu Huang, one of the researchers, wanted to highlight the importance of their discovery to the BBC News.
For the first time ever the feasibility of treating genetic diseases in human embryos using the „basic editing“ technique has been demonstrated. Harvard University professor of biochemistry, David Liu, states that this discovery could represent a solution to most genetic diseases. Robin Lovell-Badge, who heads the stem cell research division of the Francis Crick Institute in London, partly criticizes this new study saying that the authors of this discovery have experimented the technique directly on human embryos instead of passing from animal ones. .
„Other countries would have been more demanding,“ he explains, but he does not forget, however, to emphasize that the search for Western countries is actually slower. Around this extraordinary discovery there are still issues related to security and ethics, which at the moment are not yet completely resolved.
In spite of everything, however, the result achieved by the Eastern team is, and will always remain, grandiose.