Chinese Scientists to Pioneer First Human CRISPR Trial
My first thought when reading this is that CRISPR sounds amazing. Although there are definitely a lot of things that could go wrong, this is a cool step forward in science. The fact that stuff like this has been done before to help people with HIV is really promising, since it’s known that this has the capability to help. Even if that huge list of scary things happens, like the cells attacking the a random organ that’s supposed to be left alone, this is a great first step. Whatever is learned in this trial will help future trials, and hopefully this will eventually be something that can really help a lot of people.
I have almost no experience with clinical trials other than what I picked up watching Grey’s Anatomy, which probably isn’t very scientifically accurate. This was really interesting to read because it gave me a look into how they work. It makes sense that these trials start out slowly, by making sure that everything is safe and working properly, before getting into the real stuff. I’d like to learn a little more about clinical trials, so I knew how often they’re successful and what other kinds of things are being studied out there.
One question I have is why they decided to keep the experimental group so small. With something this cool that has so much potential to make a huge difference, it seems like a larger group wouldn’t have been too hard to get together. The more people are involved the more accurate the results will be, and the more the researchers will know about where to go next. Maybe more trials are planned a little later or something like that; I’m sure that everything was very well thought out.
This reminds me of a lab we did in bio where we used enzymes to splice DNA, or something along those lines. I don’t remember any specifics other than mine turning very differently than it was supposed to. I’m sure that the scientists running the CRISPR trial are going to be much more successful than my freshmen year experiments were.
CRISPR is such a cool thing and I really hope that this trial is successful. Even though it might take a while, this seems like it could potentially actually "cure" cancer, which is beyond awesome. Bio can do some nice stuff out there in the world.