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Chinese Scientists Edit DNA in Attempt to Cure Man’s Cancer, HIV

  • Cells edited with Crispr technology safely used in patient
  • Results give field a ‘green light’ for future research efforts
Inside Prenetics DNA Testing Lab
Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Chinese researchers safely treated a man with leukemia and HIV using gene-edited stem cells, a step forward in a field that was shaken last year when another Chinese scientist used the same technology to create the world’s first genetically-edited babies.

The man’s medical case, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first detailed report in a major academic journal of how doctors are using the experimental tool Crispr to manipulate the DNA of a living patient in an effort to cure disease. But even before the earlier controversy in China, there’s been a heavy note of caution in the field about how far and fast to proceed with the technology.