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What are off-target effects of CRISPR and why are they concerning?

Written by Gaetan Burgio, Australian National University

Gaetan Burgio of the Australian National University (Canberra, Australia) discusses the off-target effects of CRISPR, how they occur, how to avoid them and their impacts on the uses of the technique. CRISPR gene editing technology has been transformative in investigating important biological questions or studying the function of genes. Importantly the technology shows a lot of promise in improving crop or food production, and in detecting or treating diseases such as cancer, infections or severe hereditary disorders. To date, 23 active clinical trials at various stages of progression using CRISPR gene editing technology are registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. Most of the...

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