The short history of CRISPR gene editing in humans has, with rare exception, been a history of triumphant progress: A patient apparently cured of sickle cell in 2019, six patients with toxic DNA knocked out of their livers last year, another six patients with a different strand of toxic liver DNA knocked out last week.
The next era of CRISPR may not be so smooth.
Curative as these interventions appear to be, they represent the earliest iterations of what the Nobel prize-winning technology might be able to do. Companies, academic programs, and even a couple of clinical trials have launched in the last few years to develop more complex CRISPR machinery that can slide into harder-to-reach places and perform more dexterous operations once there.
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