CRISPR-Cas9 works like scissors on double-strand DNA. (NHGRI)
At the American Society of Human Genetics
meeting in October, CRISPR-Cas9 inventors Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier accepted the Gruber Genetics Prize, then stopped by the press room. For me, this was a little like sitting down with Bono and Bruce Springsteen, but the women were wonderfully down-to-earth, and a little stunned at all the attention since they published their key paper
in 2012 on the technique that is speeding gene editing and making genome editing a reality.
This week an International Summit on Human Gene Editing
held in Washington DC discussed the potential promises and pitfalls of gene editing technology. A terrific review is here
. For those of us who were around at the debut of modern biotechnology in the 1970s, itís dťjŗ vu all over again. I hope the outcome will be the same. Although concern over recombinant DNA technology back then began with alarm, it basically ended with not triple-headed purple monsters, as my then-grad-school advisor dubbed the concern, but with a new and more targeted source of drugs, beginning with human insulin.
Below are selected comments from Drs. Doudna (a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley) and Charpentier (director of the new Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in Berlin) from their talks and visit to the press room in October. Iíll cover here what I didnít a few weeks ago here
and in Medscape
to accompany the conference. (more…)