Thursday, November 28, 2019
CRISPR is Entering its First Human Trials
Genetic diseases are generally inevitable, but are they really? Thanks to a gene editing technology, known as the "molecular scissors" CRISPR/Cas9, we may be able to cut out genes that are causing certain diseases. CRISPR has been used in animals to cure diseases, but now the first human trials are just starting up now. These "molecular scissors" don't just cut anything and everything. CRISPR is a short piece of genetic RNA material, and Cas9 is an enzyme that leads the CRISPR to the piece of DNA that needs to be cut. In the first human trials, scientists are attempting to fight cancer, blood disorders and inherited blindness. In the blood and cancer trials, scientists take cells from the patients bodies and place them in a petri dish, and CRISPR/Cas9 is injected into the cells and the DNA is then edited. Scientists have a way of determining whether the right DNA was edited or not. Then, these edited cells are injected back into the patient. I find CRISPR to be extremely interesting, and I think it could be a truly remarkable discovery if it does in fact prove to be successful. It would help millions upon millions of people. Part of it scares me because if it edits the wrong genes, it could be deadly.
Original Article: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/crispr-enters-its-first-human-trials
Supporting Article: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-11-doctors-crispr-gene-cancer-1st.html