How Paul Allen's Foray Into Gene Editing Could Benefit Human Health
11/30/2016 6:57:36 AM
Today the Allen Institute for Cell Science is releasing a set of gene-edited stem cells to the public that are “pluripotent,” meaning they have the ability to turn into any tissue or organ in the body. But scientists at the institute, founded by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen, didn’t edit the cells’ genes with the intention of modifying embryos or doing anything else to rankle bioethicists who worry about CRISPR/Cas9 and other emerging gene-editing techniques.
Rather the Allen Institute’s goal is to help scientists understand how healthy cells work—and what exactly is going on when they don’t function properly. The edited cells will be available at a small fee to scientists throughout the world, but the Allen Institute itself is already using them to study heart disease.
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