NPR

Scientists Attempt Controversial Experiment To Edit DNA In Human Sperm Using CRISPR

NPR visited the only lab in the world known to be trying to use the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR to modify the DNA in human sperm. If successful, it could be used to prevent genetic disorders.
Gianpiero Palermo, a professor of embryology at Weill Cornell Medicine, runs the lab where scientists are trying to use CRISPR to edit genes in human sperm. Source: Elias Williams for NPR

First it was human embryos. Now scientists are trying to develop another way to modify human DNA that can be passed on to future generations, NPR has learned.

Reproductive biologists at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City are attempting to use the powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR to alter genes in human sperm. NPR got exclusive access to watch the controversial experiments underway.

The research is aimed at finding new ways to prevent disorders caused by genetic mutations that are passed down from men — including some forms of male infertility. The team is starting with a gene that can increase the risk for breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.

The experiments are just starting andhave not yet been successful. But the research raises

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