The Daily Mail has a panicky headline that “HUMAN GENETIC MODIFICATION IS COMING TO EUROPE!”
The truth is a lot more banal, though, as scientists hope to cure a blood disorder with it. No “designer babies” yet:
Humans will be genetically modified for the first time in Europe after regulators have given the go ahead to trial DNA-splicing therapy.
A destructive blood disorder known as beta thalassaemia, which reduces the production of haemoglobin, could be cured using this therapy.
Haemoglobin carries the oxygen the body needs to its cells and without sufficient amounts those with the disease can be left with bone deformities, anaemia, slow growth, fatigue and shortness of breath.
Scientists at the biotech company Crispr hope that they can alter the body’s code to stop the genetic mutation and restore healthy levels of haemoglobin.
The disease is the first to be treated using this method in Europe and experts have said that the trials hold promise.