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Beyond CRISPR: Next-Generation DNA Editing

    beyond CRISPR

    Eureka moment: 2021 the team at Beam Therapeutics published work in The CRISPR Journal, showing success in using inlaid base editors (IBE) to edit a disease-causing variant in sickle cell.

    Why it matters: Many human diseases are not easily accessible to current methods of editing DNA through CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), the bacterial defense system. Using IBE may create a new tool in the editing of hard-to-reach bits of DNA.

    How it’s being used now: Beam Therapeutics is testing IBEs in a number of rare diseases, including sickle cell and acute myeloid leukemia. Beam was founded by David R. Liu PhD, honored as one of Nature’s top 10 global researchers in 2017.

    What’s next: Other companies are following Beam’s lead to fix tiny mutations. 

    To dig deeper: