Computer illustration showing the molecular structure of the CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 in complex with RNA (ribonucleic acid, red) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, orange-fuchsia). Cas9 is a nuclease protein associated with the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspersed Palindromic Repeats) adaptive immunity system in Streptococcus pyogenes and other bacteria. It uses a guide RNA sequence to cut DNA at a complementary site. Seen here: Cas9 alpha-helical lobe (grey), HNH domain (blue), RuvC domain (light blue), C-terminal-domain (pink), topo homology domain (pale pink), arginine-rich helix (light fuchsia), guideRNA (red), target DNA (orange), non-target DNA (fuchsia). | Ramon Andrade 3DCiencia/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

CRISPR DNA Editing Can Cause Hundreds of Off-Target Mutations

A new study offers a cautionary tale for using the widely hyped gene-editing tool CRISPR on people.

Published On 06/06/2017
4:32 PM EDT
T T he gene-editing technology known as CRISPR has only been around for five years, but it’s already generated enough hype and controversy to last a lifetime. Compared to other gene-editing techniques, CRISPR is so fast, cheap, and precise that any scientist with a basic understanding of genetics can experiment with DNA — plant, animal, or human — by cutting out and replacing specific genes.