Scientists may need to bypass a cell’s cancer defenses in order to successfully edit its DNA. The finding raises questions about gene-editing advances.
Biologists at Harvard Medical School have announced the ability to create synthetic embryos from stem cells instead of fertilization, in effect making synthetic people. These “sheefs”, for “synthetic human entities with embryolike features”, present ethical considerations, while possibly avoiding legal restrictions on human experimentation. Framed as “human structures”, sheefs may be grown to maturity and provide tissue for experimentation and organs for transplant. Or they may be altered to have non-human traits. I mean, “structures”.