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CRISPR research under scrutiny

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  1. Sep 4, 2017 #1

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Egli, D. et al. Preprint at http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/08/28/181255 (2017).
    A critique of: doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22382 (dated Aug 2)

    Here is the more news science version of the CRISPR study:
    https://www.nature.com/news/crispr-fixes-disease-gene-in-viable-human-embryos-1.22382
    And news science version for the criticism:
    http://www.nature.com/news/doubts-r...embryos-1.22547?WT.mc_id=SFB_NNEWS_1508_RHBox

    This is how Science works. You perform experiments, publish your results, then you may have to answer criticism. This is a good thing. In this case the original claim was to remove a deleterious gene using CRISPR technology. Not completely correct say a second group of researchers.

    The criticism deals with the fact that the created embyos had two normal gene copies, but no explainable way (in terms of what was originally reported) for one of those copies to be in the embryo. (Read the the two news articles. In order for me to get everything correct I'd have to plagiarize a lot of text from the articles.) Maybe @Ygggdrasil can do that without plagiarzing.

    The important concept is that Science does attempt to self correct: Not always, and not perfectly because humans are involved.
     
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  3. Sep 4, 2017 #2

    Ygggdrasil

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    The main issue seems to be that the researchers assessed the success of their gene editing approach by looking for the absence of the mutated allele rather than the presence of the corrected allele (which is difficult since the corrected allele would be difficult to distinguish from the normal allele on the other chromosome). The authors of the critique point out alternative explanations as to how the Oregon team could observe the absence of the mutated allele without successful gene editing actually occurring. Mitalipov will likely have to revisit their experiments to investigate these alternative possibilities.

    A good discussion of the critique can be found on stem cell biologist Paul Knoepfler's blog:
    https://ipscell.com/2017/08/doubts-...aper-on-crispr-gene-editing-of-human-embryos/

    Also mentioned here: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/first-human-embryos-edited-in-u-s.921238/page-3#post-5832034
     
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