Discovery of “catastrophic” unintended effect of CRISPR gene editing may have caused slump in companies’ stock. CRISPR gene editing is often presented as a straightforward, precise, and safe procedure. But recent research findings on CRISPR gene editing for gene therapy applications show it can lead to massive damage to chromosomes. The phenomenon is known as chromothripsis. An article in Nature Biotechnology about the new findings describes chromothripsis as “an extremely damaging form of genomic rearrangement that results from the shattering of individual chromosomes and the subsequent rejoining of the pieces in a haphazard order”. And now there are signs that the findings are hitting gene editing companies’ stock.
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