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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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Biotechnologist Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute (a joint venture of MIT and Harvard University) was awarded a patent for CRISPR gene-editing technology in 2014. But two other scientists — Jennifer Doudna, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, then of the University of Vienna — published their description of the underlying biology first. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Broad Institute Wins Big Battle Over CRISPR Gene-Editing Patent

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Editing human genes that would be passed on for generations could make sense if the diseases are serious and the right safeguards are in places, a scientific panel says. Claude Edelmann/Science Source hide caption

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Claude Edelmann/Science Source

Scientific Panel Says Editing Heritable Human Genes Could Be OK In The Future

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After reaching adulthood, a mosquito emerges from the water looking for trouble. Courtesy of Andrew Hammond hide caption

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Courtesy of Andrew Hammond

To Fight Malaria, Scientists Try Genetic Engineering To Wipe Out Mosquitoes

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Emmanuelle Charpentier (left) and Jennifer Doudna have a case for being the inventors of CRISPR-cas9, a transformative tool for gene editing. Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists Battle In Court Over Lucrative Patents For Gene-Editing Tool

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Hamlin oranges are washed, graded and packed for shipment at the Dundee Citrus Growers Association packing house in Lake Hamilton, Florida. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

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Greg Allen/NPR

After A Sour Decade, Florida Citrus May Be Near A Comeback

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Virginijus Siksnys' large research team at the Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology in Lithuania. Arunas Silanskas/Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology hide caption

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Arunas Silanskas/Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology

Science Rewards Eureka Moments, Except When It Doesn't

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Alicia Watkins for NPR

Breaking Taboo, Swedish Scientist Seeks To Edit DNA Of Healthy Human Embryos

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Boxes of white button mushrooms. Scientists have used a popular gene editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9 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

Will Genetically 'Edited' Food Be Regulated? The Case Of The Mushroom

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Editing DNA has never been easier. Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis hide caption

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Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Corbis

Gene Editing Tool Hailed As A Breakthrough, And It Really Is One

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Nobel laureate David Baltimore of Caltech speaks to reporters at the National Academy of Sciences international summit on human gene editing, on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of scientists and ethicists from around the world debating how to deal with technology that makes it easy to edit the human genetic code. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Scientists Debate How Far To Go In Editing Human Genes

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