Exclusive: five couples lined up for CRISPR babies to avoid deafness

Summarized by Jennee Harmuth, staff writer

Although in the very preliminary stages, five deaf Russian couples want to try gene-editing, known as CRISPR, in order to produce hearing babies. This technique is controversial because some believe this type of gene-altering, if done at all, should focus on babies who suffer from life-threatening disorders. Many feel that this type of gene editing is an assault on deaf culture as well. Biochemist Julian Savulescu of the University of Oxford states, “The first human trials should start with embryos or infants with nothing to lose, with fatal conditions. You should not be starting with an embryo which stands to lead a pretty normal life”

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