Ar new genetic modification treatments inheritable?

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Offline thedoc

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Sean McCandless  asked the Naked Scientists:
Love the show.  

Are the genetic modification methods like the sickle cell treatment described in the last episode inheritable to offspring or do they only affect the treated individual?  If not, what would make them inheritable?

Sean M

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 21/10/2016 13:23:01 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Re: Ar new genetic modification treatments inheritable?
« Reply #1 on: 21/10/2016 20:07:56 »
If genetic changes were applied to germline cells (sperm, eggs or even fertilized eggs before implantation), then the descendents of that child might express the genetic change.
- Inheritance is not guaranteed, because a child only inherits half of each parent's DNA.
- Recessive genes may be be inherited, but not visibly express themselves in a child

However, genetic engineering techniques still carry a fairly high failure rate and high incidence of off-target effects (despite more targeted recent techniques like CRISPR/CAS9).

In 2015, a group of western scientists called for a moratorium (temporary ban) on human germline modification. But this ban does not apply in all countries.