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Five principles that should guide future DNA 'editing' in South Africa

By Bonginkosi Shozi, Doctoral Fellow with the UKZN African Health Research Flagship, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Marietjie Botes, Post Doctoral Fellow, University of KwaZulu-Natal
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In recent years there have been several major innovations in genetics. One prominent example is CRISPR-Cas9, a novel biotechnology derived from bacteria that could be used to make precise changes to specific locations in the human genome – our DNA.

Scientists could use CRISPR-Cas9 and similar technologies to eliminate genetic diseases by using germline cells (gametes and embryos). This is known as germline editing; a child born from modified…

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