DEC 14, 2017 7:10 PM PST

Gene-editing: Don't Try This at Home

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The FDA has issued a statement warning against the use of "do-it-yourself" gene-editing kits, reminding people in their notice that the sale of such kits is illegal. Now that the reagents used in CRISPR gene editing are making their way to the public, there is concern about the potential repercussions from this kind of experimental therapy being performed outside of the research lab.

There was recently a report of a man using CRISPR reagents on himself. Josiah Zayner, who is a biochemist, used Facebook to live stream a lecture, which was followed by him injecting himself. He has started a biotech company, and of course, it is attempting to profit from the sale of DNA that you can use on yourself. Several other startups are trying to take advantage of the CRISPR revolution; it is no wonder that the FDA is concerned about what the effects might be. It may be, however, that infection is the greatest risk to the home scientist using themselves as a model, and not much may happen at the genomic level from these tools.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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