At least since the printing press led to the discovery of cells, advances in technology have led to discoveries in biology. This special section of Science magazine describes astounding examples of how science and technology dance together and spur one another on. DNA writing and editing, along with advances in microscopy and increased computing power, have yielded ever more accurate pictures of the molecular landscape inside cells. These articles will engage and inspire scientists and technologists alike.
Advances in technology and discoveries in biology spur one another on.
At least since the printing press led to the discovery of cells, advances in technology have led to discoveries in biology. And those discoveries have paved the way for researchers to develop ever more advanced technologies.
The recent spate of disruptive innovations in biotechnology is no different. CRISPR-based methods for the editing, labeling and modifying of genetic material have yielded applications in the lab, the clinic and in agriculture. More and more powerful microscopes are generating images of single biological molecules doing their work in the context of living cells. Science and technology are like debate partners, one sharpening the other so both can achieve higher goals.
CRISPR-Cas systems are used for precision genome engineering (targeted gene editing) and other applications.
[Editor’s note: CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is the microbial world’s answer to adaptive immunity. Bacteria don’t generate antibodies when they are invaded by a pathogen and then hold those antibodies in abeyance in case they encounter...
Authors include Steve Mao, Valda Vinson, Gavin J. Knott, Jennifer A. Doudna, Fahim Farzadfard, Timothy K. Lu, Yifan Cheng, Yaron M. Sigal, Ruobo Zhou, and Xiaowei Zhuang.