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DNA editing takes a serious step forward -- for better or worse
DNA editing takes a serious step forward -- for better or worse

It's a scenario that has haunted biologists since the dawn of the DNA age: the evil scientist custom-crafting a human being with test tubes and Petri dishes. So when a Chinese team revealed last month that it had used a new laboratory technique to alter a gene in human embryos, it set off an urgent debate over the ethics — and wisdom — of tinkering with the most basic building blocks of life. The technology makes genetic manipulations that were theoretical in the past seem easy to achieve — and soon. If scientists figure out how to do it in a way that's safe for patients, gene editing could produce tremendously beneficial medical treatments. The Chinese...

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