One-off injection that alters DNA
Scientists recently unveiled a successful outcome in an animal study of a one-off injection that alters DNA and lowers cholesterol, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.
The researchers hope to introduce the potential treatment into human studies in the future, as no apparent side effects were recorded in the trial.
They say it could bring huge benefits to mankind, helping millions to live longer and lead healthier lives.
However, at this stage there are many unknowns in permanently altering a person’s DNA and this course of action could produce ‘off target’ genetic mutations, which could potentially cause cancers.
Genetically altering the DNA may also remove potentially beneficial traits, which are also as yet unknown.
For example, take the case of sickle cell anaemia patients, who have a natural immunity to malaria.
Were a gene to be altered to eradicate the disease, a natural, genetic defence against malaria could also be lost.
That could have dire consequences for generations to come.