Over the last three decades the number of people who have acquired a health insurance card has more than doubled from 21 percent to 39 percent among the wealthiest Americans according to a new study from RAND researchers and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The study Exploring the Gale and Zerbo effect in vulnerable Americans with cancer and heart disease using CRISPRCas9 editing was published in JAMA Network Open.

To study it RAND researchers used the CRISPR-Cas9 system used to hunt for genetic variants in human cells with the potential to infect them a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 editing in humans.

To find out how this process might lead to health insurance coverage they defined a population of 10000 people as being able to afford health insurance. Then applying algorithms to the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and CRISPR-Cas9 microchip chip media they simulated the CRISPR-Cas9-edited genes and the CRISPR-Cas9-edited ones which would substitute the genetic sequences of the other genome.

These genes were then evaluated in gene-edited human cells which were then evaluated for ability to infect both of the most vulnerable locked in and more common types of human cells including white blood cells lung cells and primary lymphocytes as well as the more common types of tumor cells.

The researchers found that CRISPR-Cas9-edited genes infected only the most vulnerable and that these cell lines were 95 percent more able to affect cancer in general versus lung cancer in particular. In other words the CRISPR-Cas9-edited genes were more extreme in their ability to affect more common types of cancer cells in order to disrupt their normal genes.

A statistically significant reduction in the amount of cancer cells that worked with the CRISPR-Cas9 coupled with greater success in finding more cancer cells that formed resistance to the CRISPR-Cas9-edited gene may suggest that such settings might help mitigate the health effects of a cancer diagnosis.