Saturday, July 30, 2016

CRISPR Genetic Research

Personally, I think this week's article was the most interesting and intriguing of the four articles so far. The CRISPR research shows a clear relationship between biology and healthcare, something I'm very interested in. One overall part of the article I did find the most interesting was the part where it said the results can be extremely beneficial for patients compared to chemo.While chemo is quite harmful to the body it sounds as if CRISPR can be just as harmful as chemo if done incorrectly. If the modified cells aren't properly examined and given back to the patient the result of CRISPR would be on par with any chemo treatment. An autoimmune response would be triggered and the body's healthy cells would be attacked, slowly killing the patient just as chemo does.

This article did make me think about some previous things have learned, mostly in the past week at Dartmouth. While at DHMC I learned a bit about one of the most advanced cancer treatments possible outside of genetics. Using an MRI doctors are essentially able to target only cancer cells and heat them up with the MRI, killing the cancer cells. This is much safer than chemo as it doesn't attack all the cells in your body. Another cool snippet of information I learned at Dartmouth related to genetics and overall health. Doctors and research have found that extreme stress can actually shorten telomeres on our chromosomes increasing the risk cellular mutation and thus cancer. On the other hand, relaxation and happiness can lengthen shortened telomeres, decreasing the risk of cellular mutation and cancer.

I can see CRISPR as having great potential in the future if the current tests with lung cancer go well. CRISPR could eliminate the need for chemo in cancer treatment, possibly be the cure for cancer, may allow us to treat autoimmune disease such as type I diabetes, and allow us to treat incurable diseases such as FOP (Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva).

1 comment:

  1. Hi so this is sort of a response to what you commented on my thing:
    I looked into the CRISPR/human embryos thing and in China they used CRISPR on non-viable embryos to edit a blood disorder out of the genes. Out of 86, only 28 embryos were spliced successfully, so it's not really perfected yet. I also read an argument against it in that article that I hadn't thought about: these genetic changes would be passed down to future generations, and we don't know how it would affect them. Even so, I think humankind could benefit from a technology that could cut out a disease from their future. Not necessarily cancer, but other genetic disorders, maybe something like Parkinson's or hyperthyroidism, or type I diabetes like you said (Autoimmune diseases are pretty common in my family yikes).
    Also, I totally agree with you in relation to the potential danger of CRISPR technology. That being said, I think these kinds of risks are the only way we really progress, so I'm anxious to see how this turns out.