The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, the report which was released Wednesday said.
U.S. researchers have successfully carried out gene editing on human embryos using the revolutionary technique known as CRISPR, the first time the procedure has been performed in the United States, a report said on Thursday (July 27).
OPB was not immediately able to independently confirm the breakthrough. However, if his research passes peer review it could be a significant step for scientists in the US.
The OHSU research showed that it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes which cause some inherited diseases, according to Technology Review.
Scientists in Britain and France have also backed an evaluation of the use of CRISPR on human embryos.
CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can selectively trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace it with new stretches of DNA.Scientists in China have published identical studies with mixed result.
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Israeli law permits the death penalty, but it has only been used once - the execution of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962. Israel had faced intense pressure over the security devices and said it plans to install sophisticated cameras instead.
The milestone means scientists in the U.S. are officially one step closer to engineering the first genetically modified human beings on earth. The U.S. intelligence community said past year that the CRISPR editing technique was a potential "weapon of mass destruction".
"It is proof of principle that it can work", the researcher said.
"They significantly reduced mosaicism", explained one researcher, who chose to remain anonymous.
When reached by MIT Technology Review, Mitalipov declined to comment on the results, which he said are pending publication. "I don't think it's the start of clinical trials yet, but it does take it further than anyone has before", a scientist familiar with the project was quoted as saying.
Earlier this year however, NAS and the National Academy of Medicine said scientific advances make gene editing in human reproductive cells 'a realistic possibility that deserves serious consideration'.
Don't expect a new generation of gene-edited people in the USA, though: Any local efforts to turn edited IVF embryos into babies have, so far, been blocked by Congress.