U.K. Scientists Are Deciding the Future of Humanity

U.K. Scientists Are Deciding the Future of Humanity

Editor: Johnathan Meyers| Tactical Investor

Random Musings

Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination at a rally where he called for “fewer Moroccans”. His supporters in this overwhelmingly white, conservative town see the trial and verdict as political persecution of a maverick anti-establishment champion. “We don’t like what the government does so we support him,” said Wim Keizer, curator of the Volendam museum, a small building filled with tableaux of families and fishermen in traditional dress, including a dog-drawn cart and the cabin of a North Sea fishing skiff. Chinese firms presence is growing in London


Layla Richards was a bouncy 7-pound, 10-ounce baby with downy dark hair and plump cheeks when she was born in a London hospital in June 2014. But 12 weeks later, Layla, who had been settling in at home in North London, suddenly stopped drinking milk and began to fuss and cry constantly. Because she had been a sunny, happy infant until then, her parents took her to see the doctor. He suspected a stomach bug, but just to be sure he took a blood test. The results that came a few days later were a shock: Layla had an acute, deadly form of leukaemia that she couldn’t survive without immediate treatment. She was just 14-weeks-old.

Just a few doors down from the leukaemia ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital is the office of Dr Waseem Qasim, a bearded, genial immunologist who specialises in immune system disorders in children, including cancers. For several months, Qasim had been working on a new type of leukaemia treatment in which an anonymous donor’s white blood cells are engineered to recognise cancer cells, by tweaking their genes.  There was one problem: The procedure had only been tested in mice.

Because the therapy had never before been tested in humans, there was the obvious danger of things going badly wrong, but Layla’s parents and doctors knew she would die without a miracle. After the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency granted an emergency licence, Layla became the first person in the world to receive a single vial of gene-edited cells from a stranger to attack her cancer.

What followed after Qasim’s experimental gene treatment, a new technique using custom-designed molecular scissors to cut, edit and delete DNA, was described by Layla’s doctors as “miraculous” and “staggering.” She went into remission within four weeks and successfully survived a second bone marrow transplant. Now, nearly two years on, she remains healthy and cancer-free. Full Story


Researchers set to genetically modify human embryos

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) regulator approved a licence application by Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, to perform so-called genome editing – also called gene editing – on human embryos.

The decision permits Niakan to study the embryos for 14 days for research purposes only. It does not permit them to be implanted into women. Niakan’s research is aimed at finding the genes at play in the early days of human fertilisation.

Paul Nurse, director of the institute, said: “I am delighted that the HFEA has approved Dr Niakan’s application. Dr Niakan’s proposed research is important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops and will enhance our understanding of IVF success rates, by looking at the very earliest stage of human development – one to seven days.”

The work, using embryos donated by couples with a surplus after IVF treatment, will look at the fertilised egg’s development from a single cell to about 250 cells. The basic research could help scientists understand why some women lose their babies before term and provide better clinical treatments for infertility, using conventional medical methods. Full Story

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