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CRISPR Gene Editing Can Trigger Cancer, Two Studies Warn

Story at-a-glance -

  • CRISPR-Cas9, a form of “molecular scissors,” allows for very precise DNA editing, i.e., the removal, addition or altering of sections of a DNA sequence
  • While CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing is more precise in that you can target a specific area of the genome, two recent studies warn the gene editing process can trigger cancer
  • When you cut the two double helix strands of the DNA, the injury triggers the cell to activate a gene called p53 — a “biochemical first-aid kit” that either mends the DNA break or signals the cell to self-destruct; so, either the genome edit is mended or the cell dies
  • In instances where the cell survives and accepts the edit, it does so because it has dysfunctional p53, and p53 dysfunction has been shown to significantly increase your risk of cancer
  • CRISPR stock dropped between 5 and 13 percent within days of the findings’ publication

By Dr. Mercola

The discovery of the gene editing method known as CRISPR eventually led to a novel gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, a form of molecular scissors that allows for far more accurate DNA editing for the removal, addition or altering of sections of a DNA sequence. A layman's explanation of the technology is presented in the video above.


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