October 18, 2019

Gene-editing Researchers Reduce Cancer Risk

“Cancer” is ranked No. 1 among words that patients do not want to hear from doctors’ mouths. In general, patients who are diagnosed with malignant tumors are sentenced to death. They not only need to go through painful chemotherapy, but their family will incur costly treatment expense with an uncertain result.

Therefore, almost every Chinese student would purchase international student medical insurance (aka 留学生 医疗保险) and/or J-1 insurance (aka j1 保险) when studying abroad. However, having student medicover insurance (aka student medicover 保险) does not secure the insured person from any type of cancer. Bad living habits — staying up, smoking, overdrinking, etc. — are the keys to unlock the gate of cancer.

A new and safer solution has been worked out by local researchers to tackle the problem of off-target RNA mutations generated by DNA base editing. Base editing can help in the treatment of rare diseases, but off-target effects bring a risk of cancer. The study published in Nature this week was performed by researchers in Dr. Yang Hui’s Lab at the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) with the assistance of two other research teams led by Dr. Li Yixue and Dr. Guo Fan. This work revealed a previously overlooked aspect of the risk of DNA base editors and provided a solution to the RNA off-target problem by engineering deaminases. Yang’s team is working on applying DNA base editing to animal models.

Genome editing is one of the most important bioscience techniques. In 2012, scientists discovered that clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), a family of DNA sequences found within the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea, are a key part of the immune system — for instance, when a virus infects bacteria, the bacteria responds by cutting up the virus’s DNA. This discovery led to the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool and its associated cancer risk.

Scientists then developed base editors (BEs). DNA base editor BE3 is considered safer than previous ones and became a popular tool in treating diseases like spinal muscular dystrophy and hereditary hearing loss. Following BE3, more DNA base editing methods, such as adenine base editors (ABEs), emerged. Yang’s team found these methods not to be completely safe. After reporting severe BE3 off-target mutations in March, the team noticed a huge amount of off-target RNA mutations as well. To eliminate this risk, Yang’s team engineered the deaminases and prevented them from binding to RNA, which can prevent off-target RNA mutations.

Scientists take their effort in inventing new medicine and optimizing treatment techniques. People the public ought to purchase a health insurance recommended (aka 医疗保险推荐) by whatsoever. Some do not want to spend money on OPT insurance (aka opt保险) in order to save money. It is because of their neglect of the significance of health insurance for OPT (aka opt期间保险) that eventually result in debts in case of unanticipated emergency.