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The genetic variation Chinese scientist He Jiankui was trying to re-create when he edited twin girls' DNA may be more harmful than helpful to health overall, a new study says. Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

2 Chinese Babies With Edited Genes May Face Higher Risk Of Premature Death

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About two years ago, Alphonso Evans went to the hospital for what he thought was just another bladder infection and ended up in intensive care. In an effort to combat antibiotic-resistant superbugs, scientists have created "living antibiotics" made of viruses that have been genetically modified using the gene-editing tool CRISPR. Rob Stein/NPR hide caption

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Rob Stein/NPR

Scientists Modify Viruses With CRISPR To Create New Weapon Against Superbugs

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CRISPR gene-editing technology allows scientists to make highly precise modifications to DNA. The technology is now starting to be used in human trials to treat several diseases in the U.S. Molekuul/Getty Images/Science Photo Library hide caption

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Molekuul/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

First U.S. Patients Treated With CRISPR As Human Gene-Editing Trials Get Underway

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There was an uproar in 2018 when a scientist in China, He Jiankui, announced that he had successfully used CRISPR to edit the genes of twin girls when they were embryos. Prominent scientists hope to stop further attempts at germline editing, at least for now. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Scientists Call For Global Moratorium On Creating Gene-Edited Babies

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An artist's rendering shows a needle-like carbon nanotube delivering DNA through the wall of a plant cell. It also may be possible to use this method to inject a gene editing tool called CRISPR to alter a plant's characteristics for breeding. Courtesy of Markita del Carpio Landry hide caption

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Courtesy of Markita del Carpio Landry

Scientists Thread A Nano-Needle To Modify The Genes Of Plants

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Scientists around the world criticized Chinese researcher He Jiankui's experimental editing of DNA in embryos that became twin girls. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese scientist He Jiankui speaks at a human genome editing summit in Hong Kong on Nov. 28, 2018. He announced an experiment on twins that raised a range of ethical questions and prompted China's government to vow to punish him. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Gene-Editing Scientist's 'Actions Are A Product Of Modern China'

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Dieter Egli, a developmental biologist at Columbia University, and Katherine Palmerola examine a newly fertilized egg injected with a CRISPR editing tool. Rob Stein/NPR hide caption

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Rob Stein/NPR

New U.S. Experiments Aim To Create Gene-Edited Human Embryos

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There has been a backlash since Chinese scientist He Jiankui's claim that he edited genes in embryos that became twin girls. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

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American biologist David Baltimore criticized a fellow scientist who claims he has edited the genes human embryos during the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the University of Hong Kong. China News Service/VCG via Getty Images hide caption

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China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Science Summit Denounces Gene-Edited Babies Claim, But Rejects Moratorium

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Researcher He Jiankui spoke Wednesday during the 2nd International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong. Kin Cheung/AP hide caption

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Kin Cheung/AP

Facing Backlash, Chinese Scientist Defends Gene-Editing Research On Babies

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Genetics researcher He Jiankui said his lab considered ethical issues before deciding to proceed with DNA editing of human embryos to create twin girls with a modification to reduce their risk of HIV infection. Critics say the experiment was premature. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Chinese Scientist Says He's First To Create Genetically Modified Babies Using CRISPR

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The European Court of Justice ruled this week that genetic engineering methods - such as the use of certain applications of the gene cutter CRISPR - should be regulated as genetically engineered foods. Gregor Fischer/Getty Images hide caption

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Gregor Fischer/Getty Images

Modern tools of biology could allow someone to recreate a dangerous virus, such as smallpox, from scratch. Dr. Hans Gelderblom/Visuals Unlimited/Getty Images hide caption

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Dr. Hans Gelderblom/Visuals Unlimited/Getty Images

Report For Defense Department Ranks Top Threats From 'Synthetic Biology'

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CRISPR and other gene technology is exciting, but shouldn't be seen as a panacea for treating illness linked to genetic mutations, says science columnist and author Carl Zimmer. It's still early days for the clinical applications of research. Westend61/Getty Images hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images

A Science Writer Explores The 'Perversions And Potential' Of Genetic Tests

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Shaorong Deng gets an experimental treatment for cancer of the esophagus that uses his own immune system cells. They have been genetically modified with the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR. Yuhan Xu/NPR hide caption

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Yuhan Xu/NPR

Doctors In China Lead Race To Treat Cancer By Editing Genes

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Scientists have used a popular gene editing tool called CRISPR to snip out a tiny piece of DNA from one particular gene in a white button mushroom. The resulting mushroom doesn't brown when cut. Adam Fagen/Flickr hide caption

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Adam Fagen/Flickr

Amid GMO Strife, Food Industry Vies For Public Trust In CRISPR Technology

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Scientists have used a new gene-editing technique to create pigs that can keep their bodies warmer, burning more fat to produce leaner meat. Infrared pictures of 6-month-old pigs taken at zero, two, and four hours after cold exposure show that the pigs' thermoregulation was improved after insertion of the new gene. The modified pigs are on the right side of the images. Zheng et al. / PNAS hide caption

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Zheng et al. / PNAS

CRISPR Bacon: Chinese Scientists Create Genetically Modified Low-Fat Pigs

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Kathy Niakan, a developmental biologist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, used the CRISPR gene editing technique to find out how a gene affects the growth of human embryos. Courtesy of The Francis Crick Institute hide caption

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Courtesy of The Francis Crick Institute

Editing Embryo DNA Yields Clues About Early Human Development

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The first sign of successful in vitro fertilization, after co-injection of a gene-correcting enzyme and sperm from a donor with a genetic mutation known to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Courtesy of OHSU hide caption

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Courtesy of OHSU

Scientists Precisely Edit DNA In Human Embryos To Fix A Disease Gene

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