Denis Rebrikov wants to use CRISPR to create more gene-edited babies — and he already knows who their parents might be.
In June, the Russian biologist told Nature he planned to gene-edit human embryos and then bring them to term. To date, only one person — Chinese scientist He Jiankui — has ever openly produced gene-edited babies, with the claim that the edits would prevent the babies from inheriting their fathers’ HIV.
On Thursday, Rebrikov told New Scientist he has five pairs of Russian parents eager to let him gene-edit their embryos for a different and socially loaded reason: to prevent the offspring from inheriting their parents’ deafness.
Rebrikov told New Scientist that each parent interested in his study is deaf due to mutations in their GJB2 gene. When two people with those mutations reproduce, the child is guaranteed to be born deaf.