Nov 7, 2016 - Warburg Pincus bets `500cr on logistics co Rivigo

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Sree Vijaykumar
Sree Vijaykumar
From the Editor's Desk
The CRISPR mechanism is a genetic vaccination card in cells. It is what protects us from infections we have had before. Our understanding of it, combined with Jennifer Doudna's discovery (more below) now allows us to perform genome engineering to potentially 'fix' diseases like 'sickle cell anemia' and perhaps even AIDS. It also leads to ethical dilemmas around scientists creating mutated humans without understanding the potential downsides. In 2012, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuel Charpentier and their colleagues generated a new discovery that would reduce the time and work needed to edit genomic DNA. Their discovery (possibly the discovery of the century in biotechnology) relies on a protein named Cas9 found in the Streptococcus bacteria "CRISPR" immune system that works like scissors. The protein attacks its prey, the DNA of viruses, and slices it up. In 2015, Doudna gave a TED Talk about the bioethics of using CRISPR. The full talk here. A good explainer video on how CRISPR works here.

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