'There Is a Natural Order': Gene Editing Breakthrough Sparks Debate
A group of scientists reported that they successfully edited human embryo genes containing a common mutation that causes heart disease.
While the research was originally only looking for a cure to genetic diseases, the breakthrough sparked a debate about "designer babies" and the ethics of human gene editing.
Of the 58 embryos tested, 42 were edited successfully. Experts noted that the newly successful process could cure more than 10,000 genetic diseases, including some types of cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s, sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.
"We have to be very delicate with how we use this because it's very, very powerful," Alice Benjamin, a clinical nurse specialist said on "Fox & Friends."
Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, senior author of the study, previously sparked a medical ethics debate with his proposed method for a three-parent baby.
Proponents of the new procedure said there is no cause for alarm just yet, as scientists are decades away from being able to produce "designer babies."
"There is a natural order to things," Benjamin disagreed. "And once we make changes at such an early period, we still don't know what could happen ... there's just too much happening here, and we have to have some strict guidelines."