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The Exchange

What is CRISPR?

By editing a gene soon after fertilization, scientists were able to successfully fix a disease-causing mutation in human embryos.

CRISPR stands for "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats".  It allows scientists to precisely target and cut any kind of genetic material, including in humans.  This gene editing tool has given hope for treating diseases like cancer, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.  Gene-editing breakthroughs are also raising ethical questions, however, and we look at possible future applications for the technique.


  • Elizabeth Sergison  - A PhD candidate at Dartmouth College using CRISP to research breast cancer. She works with the Genomics and Molecular Biology Shared Resource at Dartmouth as their CRISPR specialist, and helped found their "CRISPR core." 

CBS's program 60 Minutes explored CRISPR recently.

Click this link for a resource from WIRED that might help you understand CRISPR.