What Good Is CRISPR if It Can’t Get Where It Needs to Go?
January 26, 2018
(Wired) – The first US trials of Crispr safety are set to begin any day now, with Europe expected to follow later this year. Chinese scientists, meanwhile, have been testing Crispr humans since 2015, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, with mixed success. These first clinical forays involve removing cells from patients’ bodies, zapping them with electricity to let Crispr sneak in, then infusing them back into their bodies, to either better fight off cancer or to produce a missing blood protein. But that won’t work for most rare genetic diseases—things like cystic fibrosis, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s. In the 34 trillion-cell sea that is your body, an IV bag full of Crispr’d cells simply won’t make a dent.