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Genome editing could reduce lab animal use

A genome-editing technology that is much more targeted than previously thought could cut the number of animals needed in research, according to a paper from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

The CRISPR-Cas9 technology is “much safer” than previous studies had indicated, according to William Skarnes, one of the senior authors of a paper published in the journal Nature Methods on 28 May.

Skarnes, a senior group leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, near Cambridge, is quoted in an article published by the institute on 1 June as saying that the research found “no unexpected damage” in the genomes of mice when the technology was used. 

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