Summary of A CRISPR Primer

“Things We Think We Know”: Session 2 of TED Summit 2016

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A CRISPR Primer summary
How CRISPR works and why it has seized the world’s attention.

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CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a genome-editing tool spurring great interest and vigorous debate. At TED Summit 2016, molecular biologist turned biohacker Ellen Jorgensen discussed the vast potential and oft-unrecognized current limits of the technology within a lecture program titled “Things We Think We Know.” She subsequently led a workshop offering a hands-on CRISPR experience for a select few TED participants. Giving ordinary people access to biotechnology is a typical day’s work for Jorgensen, a community science advocate and founder of Genspace, a nonprofit community laboratory. The topic of gene editing is highly contentious, and Jorgensen’s treatise may not appeal to everyone’s sensibilities. For those curious about how CRISPR works and why it has seized the world’s attention, getAbstract recommends Jorgensen’s accessible and pithy primer.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is and how it works
  • What scientific feats it enables
  • What its current limitations are
  • What common misconceptions it has spurred
 

Summary

What Is CRISPR, and Why Is It Controversial?
CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a genome-editing tool with diverse, extraordinary applications. Indeed, controversies surround just how far researchers should take the biotechnology. Using CRISPR, scientists...
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About the Speaker

Ellen Jorgensen is a molecular biologist turned community science advocate, and a key personality in the do-it-yourself biotechnology movement. In 2009 she co-founded the nonprofit Genspace, which a year later opened the world’s first community biotechnology laboratory. In the Genspace lab, professional scientists and amateurs collaborate on research projects such as DNA-barcoding plants and naming microbes in the planet’s atmosphere.


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