HER NAME IS JENNIFER DOUDNA, AND
IN ACADEMIC CIRCLES SHE’S BECOME A KIND OF ROCK STAR, AS
CO-CREATOR OF A SCIENTIFIC STORM THAT IS SWEEPING THE WHOLE
WORLD. >>I DESCRIBE IT AS SURGERY FOR
THE CELL. YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY YOU KNOW,
IT’S SORT OF DOING — MAKING PRECISE CHANGES TO THE CODE OF
LIFE. >>YOU KNOW, IT MEANS THAT WE
CAN CONTROL HUMAN EVOLUTION NOW. WE CAN CONTROL ESSENTIALLY
ANYTHING THAT IS ALIVE AND WE CAN MANIPULATE THE SCRIPT.
AN AMAZING TECHNOLOGY SO VALUABLE A HUGE PATENT BATTLE IS
RAGING. THIS WEEK DOUDNA AND HER
CO-INVENTORS REVEALED THEY WON A ROUND.
A PATENT IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST MARKETS.
CHINA. WE ALSO GAVE YOU A GLIMPSE INTO
THE CRISPR RACE THAT IS UNDERWAY AMONG SCIENTISTS EVERYWHERE.
TO FIND NEW WAYS TO CURE SOME CANCERS, FIX DEADLY GENETIC
AFFLICTIONS LIKE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, EVEN RID THE WORLD OF
MALARIAL MOSQUITOES. >>IS THERE A CHANCE THAT WHAT
YOU’RE DOING HERE IN YOUR LAB IN CALIFORNIA COULD SAVE HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES? >>WE’RE DOING WITH THE
EXPECTATION THAT IT WILL. ABSOLUTELY.
>>THERE IS SO MUCH RESEARCH INTO CRISPR APPLICATIONS, AND
IT’S MOVING SO QUICKLY, WORLD-WIDE, SOMETHING NEW COMES
ALONG PRACTICALLY EVERY WEEK. JUST SINCE OUR STORY AIRED,
THERE HAVE BEEN DEVELOPMENTS. ATLANTA’S EMORY UNIVERSITY
ANNOUNCED IT HAS SUCCESSFULLY USED CRISPR TO REVERSE
HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE IN A LIVING ANIMAL.
NOT A HUMAN YET. BUT ONE STEP CLOSER TO A
TREATMENT FOR THE TENS OF THOUSANDS LIVING WITH THAT FATAL
GENETIC DISORDER. AND SCIENTISTS AT A COMPANY
FOUNDED IN PART BY DOUDNA’S CRISPR CO-INVENTOR
EMANUELLE CHARPENTIER, HAVE JUST REPORTED PROMISING RESEARCH ON
SICKLE CELL DISEASE. AS HAVE THE SCIENTISTS AT
STANFORD UNIVERSITY AND ELSEWHERE.
THEY HOPE TO BEGIN CLINICAL TRIALS IN PATIENTS AS EARLY AS
2018. >>IN THE PAST AND UP UNTIL NOW
THERE HAS BEEN NO TREATMENT FOR THIS.
WOULDN’T IT BE EXCITING IF YOU COULD TAKE A GENE EDITING TOOL
AND USE IT TO FIX THE TYPO IN THE DNA THAT IS GIVING RISE TO
THE DISEASE? AND NOW, THANKS TO CRISPR,

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