There is a good chance that you are familiar with CRISPR if you have an interest in either medical or molecular biology (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). It is a method of editing the genome that, at its most fundamental level, enables researchers to modify the function of genes and cut any genetic material they choose.
There have been multiple methods developed for editing the genome, with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors (CRISPR-associated protein 9) being the one that has seen the most widespread application. It has been shown to be useful in a wide variety of applications and shows promise in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses and infections.
It appears to be quite effective, doesn’t it? A recent study suggests, however, that this might not be the case because there are some potential drawbacks.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University conducted a study that was recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology. In the study, the researchers warn that CRISPR may not always be safe because rearranging pieces of DNA compromises genomic stability and may, in the long run, promote the development of cancer.
Concerns raised by the strategy that ended up winning the Nobel Prize
CRISPR, a ground-breaking technology that was developed roughly a decade ago, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2020. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania carried out the first CRISPR clinical study that was authorized by the FDA in the year 2020 by using the technique on T-cells. This was the first time that CRISPR had been tested in a clinical setting.
This new study investigates the impact that CRISPR has on T-cells and how they function. It makes clear the potential drawbacks of the cutting-edge technology, which has been utilized in the treatment of conditions such as cancer, liver and intestinal diseases, and genetic syndromes. At the end of the study, the researchers found that a significant percentage, up to 10 percent of the treated cell, had experienced a loss of genetic material. The instability of the genome that results from such a loss may pave the way for the development of cancer.
The purpose of this study was to shed light on potential risks that may be associated with the use of CRISPR therapeutics. Dr. Adi Barzel and his doctoral student Alessio Nahmad said that they did this despite the fact that they were aware of the significant benefits that the technology offers.
More investigation into the various possible solutions is required.
As a result, the researchers warn that making use of CRISPR therapeutics calls for an increased level of attention. They suggest additional research into two potential solutions: preventing the development of damaged cells or detecting and eliminating them before the patient receives the material. Both of these options would be preferable to the current situation.
In point of fact, we have developed treatments based on CRISPR in other studies, one of which is a promising therapy for AIDS. Even further, we have established two companies, one of which makes use of CRISPR while the other makes a concerted effort to avoid using it. To put it another way, we make strides toward the development of this cutting-edge technology while at the same time pointing out the risks that may be posed by it. “We don’t ‘choose sides,’ we examine all aspects of an issue, both positive and negative, and we look for answers,” Dr. Barzel and his Ph.D. student Alessio Nahmad concluded. This may seem like a contradiction, but as scientists, we are quite proud of our approach because we believe that this is the very essence of science: “We don’t ‘choose sides,’ we examine all aspects of an issue, both positive and negative, and we look
It is not a contradiction, as the scientists pointed out, to highlight the potential risks associated with CRISPR’s use. If the gene-editing method’s errors are not identified in any way, it is difficult to see how it could be made more accurate.