Israeli study says DNA editing method can damage genome

A new study conducted by Tel Aviv University (TAU) unveiled risks in the use of CRISPR method of editing DNA, proving it could damage the genome. 

Israeli scientists investigated the impact of CRISPR therapeutics, which are being used for treating cancer, liver and intestinal diseases as well as a genetic syndrome

The researchers detected a loss of genetic material of up to 10% in the treated white blood cells. 

This could lead to destabilization of the genome, which could in turn cause cancer.

"CRISPR therapeutics, in which DNA is cleaved intentionally as a means for treating cancer, might, in extreme scenarios, actually promote malignancies," Dr. Uri Ben-David said.

CRISPR is a revolutionary technology developed for editing DNA by cleaving its sequences at certain locations, deleting “unwanted segments” or repairing them.

“In fact, in other studies, we have developed CRISPR-based treatments, including a promising therapy for AIDS. 

We have even established two companies – one using CRISPR and the other deliberately avoiding this technology

In other words, we advance this highly effective technology, while at the same time cautioning against its potential dangers,” Dr. Adi Barzel said.