The UCL Prize Lecture in Life and Medical Sciences 2019 by Professor Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley. Abstract: CRISPR gene editing is transforming biology.
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Fundamental research to understand how bacteria fight viral infections uncovered how the CRISPR system uses Cas proteins with RNA as a programmable guide to detect and cut specific DNA sequences. Cas/RNA complexes constitute a powerful toolkit for genome editing in animals, plants and bacteria. I will discuss research into this amazing family of proteins: where they came from, how they work and how CRISPR technologies are revolutionizing research, biomedicine and agriculture. I will also discuss the ethical challenges of some of these applications with a focus on what our decisions now might mean for future generations.