A Crack in Creation
A review of

A Crack in Creation

Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution

Gene Editing

by David Meyer

Biochemists and genetic researchers Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, and Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, offer a deep dive into CRISPR gene editing, its potential and its possible ethical issues.

Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, and Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, detail the history, ethical and safety issues, and likely applications of the gene-editing tool CRISPR, which enables scientists potentially to eliminate genes that cause cancer and other diseases, make food healthier, and even bring back extinct creatures like the woolly mammoth.


The CRISPR process, the authors explain, developed from research into an unusual DNA array found in bacterial cells. The array consisted of two types of alternating DNA sequences. One type, termed “repeats,” always contained an identical set of about 30 letters of DNA. These repeats were palindromic; their letters read the same forward and backward. Between each repeat was another DNA set, the interspace.

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