• Controversial
  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening


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.


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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About the Speaker

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

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