News & Events
CRISPR Technology Undergoes New Primate Testing
- October 22, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
About a year ago, the revolutionary technique of genetic modification and research CRISPR-Cas9 was subjected to a considerable amount of accusations that it supposedly causes various genetic mutations and defects, regardless of the work of specialists. And although no convincing evidence of this was found in the future and the charges were dropped, there are still a lot of frightening rumors about CRISPR in the general public. Therefore, a talented team of Chinese genetic researchers today decided to present the results of their own research, just dedicated to identifying such mutations during work with monkey DNA.
In particular, the focus of the study was to establish the accuracy with which the CRISPR-Cas9 technique copes with removing a malicious gene called MCPH1 from macaque zygotes that causes various fetal genetic defects – as preliminary results showed, the technique copes with this in 13 cases out of 15 In the future, the team of scientists applied the whole range of technologies available to them in the field of sequential genetic sequencing in order to determine whether macaques in the body of newborns showed any noticeable the occurrence of newly formed mutations due to CRISPR.
As it turned out, no mutations were found, even in those cases when specialists used quite aggressive models for the removal of the malicious gene. In addition, the accuracy of the effect of CRISPR-Cas9 on fertilized eggs was very high.
Thus, the presented study once again proved that there are no visible side mutations caused by the use of this technique – moreover, thanks to CRISPR-Cas9, newborn macaque babies have the opportunity to grow and develop in the same way as their originally healthy counterparts. It remains to wait for the final results on further research of the technique and the comments of the researchers themselves – especially since this technique also does not stand still and continues to grow larger.