Alternative to CRISPR–NgAgo gene editing–met with scorn and doubts

GeneEditing shutterstock

A controversy is escalating over whether a gene-editing technique proposed as an alternative to the popular CRISPR–Cas9 system actually works.

[In June 2016, biologist] Han Chunyu…reported that the enzyme NgAgo can be used to edit mammalian genes. Now, an increasing number of scientists are complaining that they cannot replicate Han’s results…Han says he receives dozens of harassing calls and texts each day, mocking him and telling him that his career is over — but he is convinced that the technique is sound.

The stakes are high. Over the past few years, the CRISPR–Cas9 system has…made scientists hungry for other methods to expand the gene-editing toolkit: NgAgo is one of several that have emerged.

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One researcher in China…[says] that the process was less efficient than CRISPR–Cas9, and requires tweaking to improve the efficiency. “But, in short, it worked,” he says.

Hebei University of Science and Technology says that it will ask Han to repeat the experiment so that it can be verified by an independent party within a month…

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Replications, ridicule and a recluse: the controversy over NgAgo gene-editing intensifies

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