sciencehabit writes with the news that developmental biologist Kathy Niakan, of the Francis Crick Institute in London, has applied for permission from the UK's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority to edit the genes of human embryos. Niakan, says the article, "investigates the genes that are active at the earliest stages of human development, before it implants in the womb. Work with embryonic stem cells from mice and humans has suggested that some of the key genes active in this preimplantation period are different in humans and in mice. Niakan hopes to use genome editing to tweak some of the key genes thought to be involved and study the effects they have on human development." If approved, Niakan's work would only involve embryos in a lab, not implanted for gestation.