Saturday, July 30, 2016

I Honestly Can't Think of a Clever Title for This so...CRISPR

     So I can't really start this one with "the article I selected was..." because, yknow, we only has one option. But even if we had other options, I probably would have chosen this one. I found it incredibly interesting because it seems like we use "finding a cure for cancer" as a fill in for when we want an example of something great to happen, and now it's incredible to think that that's actually happening. The timing on this is pretty weirdly coincidental for me too, because this summer I started working with the American Cancer Society to help out with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. I went to the season kickoff last Thursday and people were sharing their stories. One in particular said that when she asked people for donations five years ago, people who often donated said they'd lost someone to cancer. But now, they more often hear that they know a survivor. That just goes to show yet again that a huge change has come around in the world of curing cancer. We've come so much closer to doing exactly that.
     When reading this article it reminded me of the video we watched in bio freshmen year about how humans were starting to build immunity to many of the medications we currently have, which was making me extremely nervous because my anxious little freshmen self assumed that because of this we were all going to die in some horrible zombie apocalypse. If  I could show my past self this article, maybe she would feel a bit more reassured, because if they could cure cancer, what else could they cure?
     I had a few more questions while I was reading this. Firstly, how much would this procedure cost? Surely, having it be so new, it wouldn't be cheap. Second, what are the side effects? They mentioned that bad things could happen if the procedure goes wrong, but what are the side effects (if any) after it goes right? And finally, who were they doing these tests on? Was it people who were infected and willing to risk their lives (because that's pretty BA), or was it all done in a lab?  

1 comment:

  1. Taylor,

    Before I get to anything to do with the article, I just want to say how cool it is that you are working with the American Cancer Society. Last year at Key Club I was super impressed with how much of yourself you put into making the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Whitaker Woods happen, and how successful it was as a result. I also love how those at the kickoff of Making Strides now hear more talk from those who donate about survivors as opposed to those who they lost to cancer. That gives me a lot of hope, and hopefully CRISPR will help increase this trend even more!
    I remember that video--it was really terrifying. I like how you linked that to this article, though, as I would not have made that connection. This new development gives me hope that we may be able to find new cures to those medical issues which have built up an immunity to antibiotics.
    Your questions were great, and some were ones I hadn’t thought of, like the cost of the program. Thinking about it, I originally guessed it would definitely be expensive in the first several years, and so wondered how many people it would actually be able to help. I wondered, is it going to be cost effective? Then I remembered that the link providing more info about CRISPR said that CRISPR-Cas9 is pretty simple and cost effective, leading it to be accessible to many “amateur biologists working in converted garages or community laboratories…” So perhaps, if it works, it will be more cost effective than we think, and so will be able to help more people! Your question about the possible of side effects if the procedure goes right is what I am most concerned about, as I feel like this has not been thoroughly explored. I definitely feel like there will be some negative side effects, but I’m curious (perhaps worried is a better word?…) about what and how bad they are going to be. I guess we'll have to wait to see how it turns out!