November 23, 2016
(Nature) – A heated dispute over gene-editing that began online is now playing out in the scientific literature. Six months ago, Chinese researchers reported that an enzyme called NgAgo could be used to edit mammalian genes – and that it might be more accurate and more versatile than the popular CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique. But almost immediately, other scientists complained on internet forums that they could not replicate the experiment. Now, a paper with 20 authors, published in Protein & Cell, lists multiple attempts that failed to replicate the original experiment – while another, published in Cell Research, suggests that NgAgo may only block, but not edit, genes when it is injected into zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.
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