What Genes Cant Do

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This week, news broke of the birth of the first two babies to have had their genes altered as embryos , a genetic change they could pass on to their own children. The use of the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR was widely thought to not yet be ready for use in human embryos for safety reasons.

The technique was used to edit a gene so that future children may be resistant to some strains of HIV. There was so much press this morning you could barely hear him. He was ushered in and then ushered away at the end.

Things genes can’t do

He came in very, very humbled, like a scolded child. In some countries you could go to jail for this.

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Benefits: Genetic testing may be beneficial whether the test identifies a mutation or not. For some people, test results serve as a relief, eliminating some of the uncertainty surrounding their health. Such a genetic test result can lower a person's feelings of uncertainty, and this information can also help people to make informed choices about their future, such as whether to have a baby. Drawbacks: Genetic testing has a generally low risk of negatively impacting your physical health.

However, it can be difficult financially or emotionally to find out your results. Emotional : Learning that you or someone in your family has or is at risk for a disease can be scary.

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Some people can also feel guilty, angry, anxious, or depressed when they find out their results. Health insurance companies may cover part or all of the cost of testing. Many people are worried about discrimination based on their genetic test results. GINA does not apply to long-term care, disability, or life insurance providers.

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Limitations of testing : Genetic testing cannot tell you everything about inherited diseases. For example, a positive result does not always mean you will develop a disease, and it is hard to predict how severe symptoms may be.

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  • Geneticists and genetic counselors can talk more specifically about what a particular test will or will not tell you, and can help you decide whether to undergo testing. There are many reasons that people might get genetic testing. Doctors might suggest a genetic test if patients or their families have certain patterns of disease.

    Nucleosomes exist because fitting the 6-foot-long human genome into a cell nucleus is akin to packing 30 miles of yarn into a basketball: It needs to be rolled up.

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    The nucleosome issue is only the latest in an expanding list of challenges, including genomic havoc and concerns about cancer , to using CRISPR to treat diseases. They got, as expected, a piddling amount of editing.

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    He used a biochemical trick to evict the nucleosome. Voila: lots of editing. That showed causality. They also measured cleavage directly, rather than with a surrogate readout. It would be a good idea, Carroll said, to take into account whether DNA is wrapped into a hard-to-reach nucleosome.

    What Is a Gene?

    Although the research was done in yeast, the findings likely pertain to human genomes, too: Yeast and humans are both eukaryotes, meaning their genes reside inside a nucleus. Sangamo did not reply to a request for comment. DNA wraps and unwraps itself as a cell moves through its growth cycle.