Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

A safer way to do gene editing

RATE THIS! +49
Posted in Science on 3rd Dec, 2015 07:26 AM by AlexMuller

The advance, outlined in Science Magazine, comes as world leaders in the field gather to debate the ethics of altering human DNA using the method, known as Crispr-Cas9. Gene editing holds much medical promise to sure genetic diseases. However, changing a person's DNA also has potential risks and has caused ethical debates.

 

Crispr-Cas9 is a DNA cutting and pasting system that scientists have borrowed from nature. Bacteria use it to protect themselves against foreign DNA from viruses. Scientists have been using it in the lab to target and cut out faulty DNA in human cells that cause illnesses. While effective, the process is less than perfect and can cut out too much DNA, experts have found.
 
These unwanted or 'off-target' edits could alter other important genes, inadvertently triggering cancer, for example. Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard believe they have solved this problem by changing the molecular structure of the Cas9 enzyme. Their modified version should now only snip out the DNA it is designed to, leaving the rest of the precious genetic code intact, the US team say.
 
They made changes to amino acids - the building blocks of Cas9 - and found this improved its accuracy, reducing the risk of 'off-target' cuts. In repeated tests on human embryonic kidney cells, the researchers were unable to detect any cutting errors. Researcher Feng Zhang said this should help address some of the safety concerns.
 
But he added: "We certainly don't see this as a magic bullet. The field is advancing at a rapid pace, and there is still a lot to learn before we can consider applying this technology for clinical use."
 
Prof Malcolm White, an expert in Crispr and DNA repair at the University of St Andrews, said the early work was promising.
 
"The altered version of Cas9 seems to be a safer tool, which would be useful if scientists want to correct defects in human genes. But more studies are needed and ethical debates about when we should use gene editing will no doubt continue."

Tags: CRISPRgeneticsgenetic engineeringbiotechnologyresearch

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-12-03
+1
Indeed, rapid progress has been made with respect of using this new gene editing tools for research, taking it to the clinic will need further improvements
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-12-03
+0
Yes, in particular making it safe and understanding better which conditions can be treated using the new gene editing techniques Reply
Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-03-27 19:48:26
    Tech world debate on robots and jobs heats up..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-03-27 19:37:58
    Chemical energy storage with water heating solar panels.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-03-27 19:31:49
    Blood test detects cancer and pinpoints location before.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-03-26 19:56:28
    The U.S. will be hit worse by job automation than other.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-03-26 19:49:51
    Elon Musk says Tesla will start taking orders for Solar.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Daily consumption of tea protects the elderly from cognitive.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Unproven stem cell 'therapy' blinds three patients at Florida.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me