With only two females left, the Northern White Rhinoceros (NWR) is nearly extinct, but a revolution in fertility treatments may pave the way to the species’ resurrection. The two surviving NWRs live in a Kenyan nature reserve, where armed guards protect them around the clock. They once roamed the planes of Uganda, Southern Chad, and South Western Sudan, but political unrest led to a growing demand for rhino horn, which in turn led to an increase in poaching in these countries.
CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing (CRISPR) has become a renowned genome editing tool that has greatly enhanced scientific research but has also caused much controversy and concern over its potential applications. With the potential of becoming a standard medical tool to fix incurable genetic diseases, the safety and efficiency of CRISPR needs to be extensively investigated to ensure that only the desired DNA modifications are made. Recent studies published in Nature have discovered how editing efficiency in cells can be influenced by the DNA damage response pathway 1,2 and are raising concerns after finding that CRISPR cuts can result in larger unwanted DNA rearrangements than previously thought 3.