A team of researchers in China are the first to demonstrate the feasibility of curing genetic disease in human embryos by base editor system.The experiments were performed in tissues taken from a patient with the blood disorder and in human embryos made through cloning.
The team at Sun Yat-sen University, China used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion letters of our genetic code.Base editing alters the fundamental building blocks of DNA: the four bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine.
They are commonly known by their respective letters, A, C, G and T.
The potentially life-threatening blood disorder beta-thalassemia is caused by a change to a single base in the genetic code known as a point mutation.The team in China edited it back.
They scanned DNA for the error then converted a G to an A, correcting the fault.