W

hen papers from two independent research groups reported in June that CRISPR genome editing is more likely to succeed in cells that have lost their cancer kill switch, it raised fears that edited cells used to treat patients might initiate tumors. That inference is still the subject of intense debate — including over whether Nature Medicine should even have published the studies — but one thing is beyond question: The papers sent other scientists scurrying to their labs to check their results.

What they found is a mix of good news and bad news. In other words, the debate rages on.

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