What if it were possible to access DNA, edit the genes responsible for a disease and re-introduce correction in the body? No, it's not fiction. It is already practiced and some scientists have gone too far in the field of genetic editing.
In the summer, a mother in Nashville with a seemingly incurable genetic disorder finally found an end to her suffering - by editing her DNA.
Victoria Gray's recovery from sickle cell anemia , which caused her painful convulsions, came in a year of breakthroughs in one of the hottest areas of medical research: gene therapy. "I've been expecting a cure since I was 11," Gray, 34, told AFP by email. Since receiving the new cells, I have been able to spend more time with my family without worrying about pain or an unexpected emergency.
For several weeks, Gray's blood was collected so doctors could get to the cause of her illness - stem cells from her bone marrow that produced deformed red blood cells.
The stem cells were sent to a Scottish laboratory where their DNA was modified using the Crispr / Cas9 technique, a new tool informally known as molecular "scissors".
Doctors ask for caution
Genetically edited cells were transfused back into Gray's veins and bone marrow. A month later, she was producing normal blood cells. Doctors warn that caution is needed, but theoretically it is cured.