Higher fatal flu risk for CRISPR twins

CRISPR gene edited twins have been found to have a 21% higher mortality rate from flu before the age of 76
06 June 2019
Presented by Matthew Hall with Florian Merkle. 




CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. Long name, but easy to picture: the sequence is synonymous to a word processor for a book, the book being DNA, which allows scientists to not only read the book, but to also edit a specific ‘passage’ of the book. Using CRISPR technology, DNA edits were performed on female twin embryos by Chinese scientist Jiankui He, who has since lost his standing in the scientific community. Xinzhu Wei & Rasmus Nielsen, from the University of California Berkeley, followed up with the birth of the twins in an article published in the journal Nature Medicine and found a 21% increase in early mortality for the mutated genes. Matthew Hall visited Florian Merkle, a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Metabolic Science right here in the University of Cambridge, to discuss the goal of He’s experiment.


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