Public Release: 

CRISPR-Cas9 targeting and genetic variation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers used more than 7,000 whole genome sequences, including genetic and viral disease-related targets, to study the effects of genetic variation on CRISPR-Cas9 technology, and found that human genetic variation, including single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions and deletions, altered on-site targeting and increased the potential of off-site targeting, but that such alterations were relatively rare, findings with potential implications for improving CRISPR-based therapies.

Article #17-14640: "Human genetic variation alters CRISPR-Cas9 on- and off-targeting specificity at therapeutically implicated loci," by Samuel Lessard et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stuart Orkin, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; tel: 617-355-7910; e-mail: <>; Mathew Canver, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; email: <>


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