American scientists have been able to modify faulty genes in human embryos, a premiere in the United States using CRISPR's revolutionary genetic editing technique, MIT Technology Review magazine said on Thursday.
"The results of this study will soon be published in a scientific journal," said Eric Robinson, a spokeswoman at Oregon's University of Science and Health (OHSU) where the study took place.
According to the US journal, which quotes a researcher from this team, these experiences have demonstrated that it is possible to effectively and safely correct the genes responsible for hereditary diseases.
Embryos were not allowed to develop for several days.
Researchers in China succeeded in 2015 to change the genes of mixed human embryos, according to the British magazine Nature.
The CRISPR / Cas9 technique, a mechanism discovered in bacteria, represents a huge potential in genetic medicine, allowing rapid and efficient gene modification.
This molecular "scissors" can, in a very precise manner, remove unwanted parts of the genome to be replaced with new pieces of DNA.
If this technique can correct faulty genes, it can also theoretically produce babies with certain physical traits (eye color, muscle strength, etc.) but also smarter, raising important ethical issues.