January 08, 2017

CRISPR could make designer babies and help with many diseases and more

Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute gave a talk about CRISPR-CAS9 gene editing.

She indicates towards the end of the video that using CRISPR for transhuman goals is not yet possible. However, it is on the table as a future possibility and something to seriously discuss.




VOX lists some other capabilities being developed with CRISPR

1. CRISPR can knock out genes to help figure out what different genes actually do
2. We can use it to engineer plants to improve food security

Dan Voytas, a plant geneticist at the University of Minnesota, runs a lab that’s developing methods to use CRISPR for targeted genome modification of plants. Right now, he says he’s working on herbicide-tolerant varieties of cassava for smallholder farmers in Africa. He is also working to improve rice

3. Potential Alzheimer’s and parkinsons treatments

Martin Kampmann is a cell biologist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California San Francisco is working to apply CRISPR for brain disease treatments

4. new cancer treatments

Modify cells to more effectively attack cancer

5. Make oil or more productive production of biofuel using engineered plants or yeast

6. Use plants to make drugs and vaccines

7. Destroy viruses like HIV, herpes, and hepatitis





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