The gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 may cause large deletions and rearrange the DNA it is targeting in some cases, according to a new U.K. study published in Nature Biotechnology Monday.
Why it matters: Scientists hope CRISPR can one day be used to treat cancer, HIV, haemophilia and sickle cell disease. But this and other recent studies find it can cause unintended edits, and possibly trigger cancer.
"The DNA chaos that CRISPR unleashes has been 'seriously underestimated,'” study author and geneticist Allan Bradley of U.K.'s Wellcome Sanger Center tells STAT. “This should be a wake-up call.”