Scientists have revealed the key role played by a fertility ‘master gene’ after editing Deoxy Nucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material in human embryos. Scientists used the controversial CRISPR-Cas9 system to ‘edit’ growing human embryos to see what would occur when a key gene was removed.
The work is published in the journal Nature. They discovered that a protein called OCT4 helped decided whether an embryo grows normally or self-destructs. One of the key applications for the research is to improve IVF success rates.
The team used genome-editing techniques to stop a key gene from producing a protein called OCT4, which normally becomes active in the first few days of human embryo development. Read more