SCIENTISTS will genetically modify humans for the first time in Europe after being given the go-ahead for a DNA-splicing therapy.

Swiss-based biotech company Crispr Therapeutics hope to find a way of curing blood disease beta thalassaemia.

 Genetically modified HUMANS to be a first in the West — after China tests

Rex Features

Genetically modified HUMANS to be a first in the West — after China tests

It is caused by a mutation in DNA. Experts hope to cut this away and replace it with genetically modified cells in lab tests this year.

Last night Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, of London’s Francis Crick Institute, said: “We will look back and think that this is the real beginning of gene therapy.”

China has held similar trials but it is not under such strict regulation. A trial into treating cancer patients is under way in Pennsylvania, US.

 'This is the real beginning of gene therapy', Prof Robin Lovell-Badge of London’s Francis Crick Institute said

Paul Rogers – The Times

‘This is the real beginning of gene therapy’, Prof Robin Lovell-Badge of London’s Francis Crick Institute said

Boy given genetically modified skin covering his whole body