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Posted inCT Viewpoints

Editing genes with care and confidence

A pair of scientific papers published recently revealed that editing the genome with the popular molecular tool called CRISPR may cause cancer. CRISPR involves making precise ‘cuts’ in the genetic code, which some cells may perceive as damage with the potential to result in harmful mutations. In its defense, the cell may activate anti-cancer pathways to combat the perceived attack and cause the cell to die – rendering the CRISPR edit useless. The papers published this week demonstrated that certain cells are able to survive editing by CRISPR but lack a functional anti-cancer pathway, leaving them vulnerable.