Jan 21, 2016

CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Is a Huge Deal, But It’s Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

CRISPR/Cas9 has been touted as an almost magical technology in the news—and rightly so. The technique allows scientists to alter the DNA of living cells and, it’s hoped, achieve a longstanding goal of science to treat disease at the genetic level.

That’s a really big deal.

An estimated 6,000 diseases are caused by genetic mutations, and only 5% can be treated. Take sickle-cell anemia, for example. Often deadly, it is caused by a single mutation in one of the human body’s three billion DNA base pairs. It’s a small, well-understood error in the genetic code, but so far we have been helpless to repair it.

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