New NgAgo protocol: helpful or more of a red flag?

The supposed new gene editing technology NgAgo has had the scissors taken to it with basically no one able to get it to work conclusively and now the professor who led the work, Chunyu Han, has posted a new NgAgo protocol on the Addgene website.

The new NgAgo protocol is really more of an abbreviated methods description with just a few new hints at getting it to work such as testing your cells for mycoplasma.

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Nature Biotechnology looking at NgAgo paper amidst reproducibility concerns

When potentially game changing new technologies are reported such as NgAgo gene editing, both scientists and the public get excited, but especially if such new reports stem from a single paper it is wise to take a cautious approach for a while. The key question is whether the new findings will turn out to be reproducible.

With the case of NgAgo specifically, theĀ Nature Biotechnology paper reporting potentially very desirable gene editing properties, drew a lot of interest. See archived blog posts on NgAgo here.

NgAgo China newspaper

Snapshot of part of China Daily article. Photo Credit Dr. Robert Geller

However, recently many within the scientific community have reported consistent difficulties in getting NgAgo to function as reported. Gaetan Burgio did a guest post here presenting 7 figures of data that together paint a picture of NgAgo not functioning at all like CRISPR.

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