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Scientists Discover That Base Editors Accidentally Mutate RNA While Editing DNA

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18 Apr 2019 12:20 AM EST

According to a report by Science, when researchers first reported that they had created base editors, a version of the powerful genome-editing tool CRISPR, excitement swirled around their distinct ability to alter DNA similar to CRISPR itself. However, a new study shows that they can also accidentally mutates the strand of RNA that help build proteins and perform other key cellular tasks. Scientists reportedly say that this could complicate developing safe therapies with the technology and hamper other research applications. Science reports that while base editors have been known to have many off-target effects on DNA, until now, its effects on RNA had escaped scrutiny.

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