New medicines are increasingly targeting the genetic drivers of disease. But what if medicine could go a step further and actually correct the genetic defect itself?
That's what researchers aim to do with Crisp, a new technology that enables gene editing in a simpler way than ever before.
"It allows precision changes to be made to DNA at the level of a single letter in the DNA code of a human cell, for example," explained Jennifer Doudna, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a pioneer of the technology. "And it's simple enough to use that scientists all over the world have been able to get access to this technology and start testing it."
The name Crispr (CRISPR) stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. It sounds complicated, but, as Doudna points out, it's actually the technology's simplicity that's got the scientific community so excited.