Is CRISPR Gene Modification Tool a Genie in a Bottle?

By: | January 15th, 2017

CRISPR & Gene Modification

CRISPR & Gene Modification of Superbugs (Image Courtesy

With new gene editing tools such as CRISPR, biotech companies like Monsanto will be able to go beyond creating pest-resistant and herbicide tolerant plants that helped create the GMO market. New gene-editing tools will allow plant and animal scientists to develop new traits for plants and animals and fight threats to humans such as antibiotic resistant bacteria.

CRISPR – The Game Changer & Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

CRISPR-Cas9 is “the tool” that will turn humans from one creature in the history of evolution to “Gods” who direct evolution. Some worry that this type of gene editing could ruin human and animal evolution as mistakes are certainly inevitable. The question will be whether or not the technology can evolve quickly enough to limit serious and dangerous mistakes before they get out of hand.

This year, biotech interests of all sizes and denominations will watch as the legal battle over CRISPR heats up. Here’s a quick overview of the legal battle pitting Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, Emmanuelle Charpentier of the University of Vienna, and Fung Zhang of the Broad Institute, all of whom claim to have been the first to patent CRISPR.

Unrestrained Ambition

Over the past two decades, many of the worst environmental disasters have occurred in China where the attitude is to go full speed ahead, no matter what. The Chinese are reportedly already engineering “superbabies,” humans that will be able to out-compete anyone. What problems will the unrestrained pursuit of these types of “breakthroughs” bring?

Possible CRISPR Breakthroughs

On the other hand, if humans can control the technology and see helpful breakthroughs such as the creation of “super crops” that provide enhanced nutrition, better immune systems, longer and healthier lives, or the ability to turn off Alzheimer disease, then the current uncertainty and anxiety will have been worth it.

The possibility of CRISPR and stem cells creating new ways of fighting disease or saving millions from starvation with super crops is just too great to pass up. The success or failure of these technologies may take decades to determine.

The following video explains how “Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR.”

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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