Summary of What You Need to Know About CRISPR

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CRISPR, a genome-editing tool, is spurring great interest and vigorous debate. Molecular biologist turned biohacker Ellen Jorgensen discusses the vast potential and current limits of the technology. 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 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 common misconceptions it has spurred.
 

About the Speaker

Ellen Jorgensen founded Genspace, a nonprofit community laboratory that promotes citizen science.

 

Summary

CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] is a genome-editing tool with extraordinary and controversial applications. Scientists could potentially use CRISPR to return the woolly mammoth from extinction or annihilate a species deemed the enemy of humankind. The question is, should researchers act on these scientific possibilities? The science behind CRISPR is outpacing government regulations, so society must quickly get to grips with the uses and potential effects of the tool.

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