CRISPR cutting edge may be dangerous precipice

Xavier Symons | June 16, 2018 |

Does CRISPR cause cancer?

CRISPR-Cas9-biologistCRISPR-Cas9 technology has been heralded as one of the biggest breakthroughs in biomedical research of the past half-century. The technology has already been used in agriculture to increase crop yields and improve nutritional quality, while in biomedicine scientists are utilising it to study disease aetiology and progression, with the hope of one day assisting with the prevention and treatment of conditions ranging from cystic fibrosis and hemophilia to HIV and cancer.

Ironically, two new papers have been released that suggest that cells that have been successfully edited using CRISPR technology may have a higher likelihood of triggering cancer.

The two papers -- published in Nature Medicine by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts -- indicate that some methods of CRISPR editing are dependent on the dysfunction of a gene known as p53. P53 is a gene that helps cells to repair (or, alternatively, self-destruct) when their DNA has been damaged. The reason why CRISPR success rates are often extremely low is because properly-functioning P53 disrupts the DNA editing process. Where CRISPR is successful, it is often associated with a dysfunction in p53, as the p53 would otherwise disrupt the edit or destroy the cell. Read more.

Update on CRISPR

April 16, 2019 | 11:01 AM ET

First U.S. Patients Treated With CRISPR As Human Gene-Editing Trials Get Underway

Read more.

Biblical concept found to be beneficial to health | Anne Trafton | 5-3-2018

Stem cell treatments.png
By Mikael Häggström - Public Domain, Link
Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity

As people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine.

This age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study from MIT biologists. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.

In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers say. Read more.

Angel fish
Public Domain, Link

...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1


A SistersSite eBook

Flesh and Bone and The Protestant Conscience is an e-book on It is 99¢ and in the Amazon lending library as well. It is also available here in PDF format. The book description follows.

Would you let your conscience be your guide?

Does God care if the skin and bone of the dead are passed along to the living for medical uses? Is organ donation OK with God? Should you sign a Living Will?

Did you know that dead organ donors are often anesthetized before their organs are removed? Do you know the current definition of death? The conscience cannot function without facts.

As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

How should a Christian think about euthanasia by starvation when doctors and the state attorney general all agree it is time to withhold feeding from a brain injured patient? Some things are family matters, but someday it may be our family.

Here is a small book to help you think about whether you want to sign your driver's license, donate a kidney, cremate your loved one, and many other practical questions that may arise in the course of your healthcare decisions or watch over others.

It offers a special focus on the doctrine of the Resurrection that is related to such decisions. Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups could use this book to facilitate discussion about the issues covered.