Imagine cutting and pasting genes in DNA, just like editing words in a document on a computer. CRISPR-Cas9 technology does just that, making it possible to replace genetic material with a simpler, cheaper, more precise method than ever before. Dubbed “the biggest biotech discovery of the century” supporters of CRISPR call out benefits such as potential cures for diseases like cancer, malaria, and cystic fibrosis; increased crop yields; and correcting genetic defects. Opponents raise ethical concerns citing the law of unintended consequences, designer babies, and interspecies organ transplants.
With the market for gene editing expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2019, the stakes for companies, scientists, and entrepreneurs are high with battles already being waged over patents. Notably, pharmaceutical companies are jumping in to protect their interests, too. Will the winner take all? Can CRISPR eradicate viruses like AIDS and Zika? Can science truly control genetics?
Find out on April 19, 2016 at SRI during a lively panel discussion with leading experts.