June 29, 2016
(Nature) – Therapies can be tested in non-human animals only for so long — at some point, volunteers such as Gelsinger must step forward. Yet the echoes of a trial done 17 years ago cannot be easily silenced. In fact, Gelsinger’s name came up several times at the RAC meeting. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia had even mentioned him earlier that morning, when proposing the first human trial of CRISPR gene-editing technology as a treatment for cancer. The RAC approved that proposal, but its implication was clear: take care. Avoidable failures could stymie CRISPR research for decades. History must not repeat itself.
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