It’s probably not a good idea to assume that even the savviest biotech investors know a PiggyBac transposition from a FLAER reagent, so the fact that the stocks of the three publicly traded CRISPR companies got hammered on Monday after a study (that included both!) questioned CRISPR’s safety might mean nothing. But as more scientists digested the news, it became clear this was no “OMG! Off-target effects!” erroneous report. Here’s why:
CRISPR-Cas9 did what it’s supposed to. Many of the concerns about this genome-editing technology have centered around off-target effects, in which the RNA that guides the DNA-cutting enzyme to its genomic bull’s eye mistakes the intended string of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s for a similar one.