Assessments

Gene Editing: Tailoring the Future of Biotech

May 6, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
Genetically modified plants are shown in an Argentinian biotechnology lab northwest of Buenos Aires.
Genetically modified plants are shown in an Argentinian biotechnology lab northwest of Buenos Aires.
(JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Just over a year ago, Chinese laboratories published the results of a controversial experiment, one that enabled the selective editing of genomes belonging to human embryos. A flurry of ethical debates and research on the relatively new technique known as CRISPR took place in the aftermath. Scientists and policymakers alike were quick to explore the potential applications -- and implications -- of gene editing. Given the recent anniversary of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and a related intellectual property battle dragging on in U.S. courts, it is appropriate to evaluate the progress gene-editing technology has made, and determine how valid our previous assessment of the technology's potential impact was....

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