CRISPR Calls into Question Cancer Drug Target

The self-correcting nature of science has always seemed enigmatic to the uninitiated and armchair scientists. Yet, independent reproducibility is a hallmark of the proper scientific method and essential for validating appropriate therapeutic targets. Now, a team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has published new evidence challenging previous research that the maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) gene is a good cancer drug target. Moreover, the researchers suggest that the discrepancy with previous findings results from inherent flaws in the scientific techniques that have been used to link MELK to cancer. Findings from the new study were published recently in eLife through an article entitled “ MELK expression correlates with tumor mitotic activity but is not required for cancer growth .”

"Our study is a good illustration of the self-correcting nature of science," noted senior study investigator Jason Sheltzer, Ph.D., a research fellow at CSHL. ...