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Genetic Linkage

‘CRISPR this, CRISPR that’: Is our fascination with the popular gene-editing tool distracting us from the potential of gene-silencing RNAi technology?

CRISPR, it seems, is everywhere.


Google "crisper" and "Did you mean crispr?" shoots back.


The film Rampage brought a giant, CRISPRed wolf, ape and gator. In real life a year ago, renegade researcher He Jiankui announced CRISPRing human twins at fertilization and then vanished, an unpublished manuscript just now surfacing at MIT Tech Review. He's now in jail.


CRISPR is the subject of Netflix's Unnatural Selection and the upcoming documentary Human Nature.


CRISPR this, CRISPR that.


But drugs based on CRISPR are just entering clinical trials. Nevertheless, NPR breathlessly announces its "exclusive access" to the story of Victoria Gray, a woman receiving cells CRISPRed outside her body and then infused to treat her sickle cell disease. One patient, at the start of a trial.


Yet on November 20, the FDA approved the second drug based on RNA interference (RNAi) technology. I didn't see much mainstream media coverage.


To continue reading, go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this post first appeared.

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