Chinese researchers perform chemical surgery to remove disease from embryo

A research team at Sun Yat-sen University in China have performed “chemical surgery” to remove disease from embryos – a world first.

A technique called base editing was used to correct errors in genetic code which cause disease. The method corrected a single error our of three billion letters in genetic code.

The original “mistake” in code is called point mutation.

See also: 

National cancer centre Singapore to test new ovarian cancer treatment

India expected to ban sale of sweets and soft drinks in tobacconists

Latest edition of Business Review Asia

Lab-made embryos were altered to remove the disease beta-thalassemia but were not implanted. At present implanting these embryos would have been illegal in many countries such as the UK.

The experiment was performed on tissue taken from a patient with the disorder and embryos developed through cloning.

Beta-thalassemia is a blood disorder which can be life threatening. The team hoped this method will one day be used to treat a range of inherited diseases.

Junjiu Huang, one of the researchers, stated: “We are the first to demonstrate the feasibility of curing genetic disease in human embryos by base editor system.”

Base editing was invented by David Liu at Harvard University in 2016 and is a method of changing or “correcting” DNA code which Liu dubbed “chemical surgery.”


Featured Articles

The world’s biggest chipmaker bets big on renewable energy

Despite the struggle faced by chipmakers to reduce emissions, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is accelerating renewable energy adoption by 10 years

Uniqlo shakes up leadership amid global retail ambitions

Fast Retailing, the group behind Japan’s Uniqlo, overtakes Gap with soaring profits and is now eyeing accelerated global expansion with executive shakeup

What is the ESG strategy of Chinese automaker Geely Holding?

Chinese automotive giant Geely Holding released its 2022 sustainability report, so what is the car maker’s ESG strategy?

Top 10 best-performing CEOs in Singapore

Leadership & Strategy

Top 10 women behind India’s most successful tech startups

Leadership & Strategy

Top 10 best private members clubs in Singapore and Hong Kong

Leadership & Strategy