Does the use of CRISPR risks justified? Let's ponder

New titles on CRISPR appear every week, touting the potential of gene editing remake the world we know - from the creation of more appropriate food sources to save the coral reefs and to improve cancer therapies. However, there are not very good news: for example, it is possible to inadvertently damage the DNA during editing, or edit the non-target areas.

Does the use of CRISPR risks justified? Let's ponder

In addition, given the complexity of the mechanism of DNA, we are not nearly ready to experience the CRISPR in humans. Officially, anyway - "in black" precedents already appearing. The possibility is very great, and none of the effects of CRISPR has no immediate effect, good or bad. However, the field is still in its infancy, and in the presence of the proper amount of research we have excellent potential to change lives, to make it better.

How dangerous CRISPR? Without studies - very

And yet, in my view, we are faced with a more serious obstacle than the potential disadvantages CRISPR technology. Despite the potential of this tool to solve a number of the world's biggest problems currently conducted and gaps in research in the field of gene editing to deal with all these problems. It's not a lack of scientific knowledge, not a lack of interested specialists, or investment, no. The problem lies in the limitations of tools, which are currently used for gene editing, both in terms of performance and access. CRISPR can be regarded as in some sense a biological weapon: access to it is severely restricted, but being in the wrong hands it can become very dangerous. performance and access problems are encountered with the CRISPR nucleases, its molecular scissors that cut DNA. These nucleases, including cas9, are important tools in gene editing studies. But if researchers want to use commercial cas9, they face high licensing costs, as well as royalties on all observed during the study. With regard to academic research, they certainly can use Cas9 without such encumbrances, however limited in scope commercialization. After the commercialization of these will also be encumbered as commercial researchers.

All this means that many great ideas and innovations in the field of CRISPR left out.

Imagine that you are a scientist, academician, who has spent years painstakingly examining the oncology applications Cas9. You broke through and found a possible treatment for patients. You probably decide for the benefit of medicine and suffering to convey the decision of the pharmaceutical companies for the development, clinical trials and, ultimately, mass production treatment. But it was not there. Currently, the parties who own or use the exclusive license to use cas9, could in theory require a share of the profits, if any, to block the development of the product, if it competes with their own development activities.

Moreover, even those who are lucky enough to get easy access to the enzymes CRISPR, need additional tools for their precise application. Scientists need accurate tools for research - reliable, scalable, low-cost - so that they can move in a promising area of ​​progress CRISPR technology. Take a look at your smartphone and compare it - with all its applications and programs - with the last mainframe computers. The difference in the performance and availability of the smartphone technology is striking when compared with the dinosaurs technologies.

Gene editing today is still in the early stages of development, akin to large mainframes and clumsy in the field of computer technology. However, CRISPR has enormous potential and converting, as calculations in the cortex may change the way certain problems solutions. To achieve this reality, more research is needed in the field of gene editing, but existing research tools are not sufficiently developed to visionary biologists could realize the potential of CRISPR.

Biologists asked to solve complex problems of mankind; but try to do it without the necessary tools will not be optimal. To resolve this issue, the scientific community - with the support of business leaders and technology industry - must invest time and expertise not only in the CRISPR research, but also in the development of the necessary tools for these studies.

What do you think if fate awaits CRISPR computer? Let's discuss in our chat in the telegram.