Scientists already looking for better alternatives to CRISPR

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The CRISPR–Cas9 tool enables scientists to alter genomes practically at will…But for all the devotion, CRISPR–Cas9 has its limitations. It is excellent at going to a particular location on the genome and cutting there, says bioengineer Prashant Mali…“But sometimes your application of interest demands a bit more.”

The zeal with which researchers jumped on a possible new gene-editing system called NgAgo earlier this year reveals an undercurrent of frustration with CRISPR–Cas9 — and a drive to find alternatives. “It’s a reminder of how fragile every new technology is,” says George Church…

Cas9 will not cut everywhere it’s directed to — a certain DNA sequence must be nearby for that to happen. This demand is easily met in many genomes, but can be a painful limitation for some experiments…

Many labs use CRISPR–Cas9 only to delete sections in a gene, thereby abolishing its function. “People want to declare victory like that’s editing,” says Church. “But burning a page of the book is not editing the book.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Beyond CRISPR: A guide to the many other ways to edit a genome

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