Gene-Edited Cattle Have a Major Screwup in Their DNA

September 5, 2019

(MIT Technology Review) – But gene editing isn’t yet as predictable or reliable as promoters say. Instead, the procedure, meant to make pinpoint changes to DNA, can introduce significant unexpected changes without anyone noticing. “As genome-editing technology evolves, so does our understanding of the unintended alterations it produces,” wrote the FDA scientists, led by Alexis Norris and Heather Lombardi, in a paper they released in July. They think gene-editing errors “are under reported” and a “blind spot” for scientists. The risk of haphazard engineering isn’t just to barnyard animals. Genome-editing treatments to cure rare diseases are being tested on people and it is possible that patients will end up with unplanned genetic mutations.