Bacteria use CRISPR to protect themselves against invading viruses. Adapting CRISPR to precisely locate and edit DNA will dramatically change the way we diagnose and treat many serious diseases.

Awarded the Nobel Prize in 2020, this breakthrough technology formed the basis of diverse gene editing applications in humans and other organisms, including molecular diagnostics.

In awarding the prize, the Nobel committee noted that “In an epoch-making experiment, they (Charpentier and Doudna) reprogrammed the genetic scissors. In their natural form the scissors recognize DNA from viruses, but Charpentier and Doudna proved they could  be controlled so that they can cut any DNA molecule at a predetermined site. When the DNA is cut it is easy to rewrite the code of life. Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. The tool has contributed to many important discoveries in basic research, and plant researchers have been able to develop crops that withstand mould, pests and drought. In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to mankind.”

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CRISPR-mediated technologies will revolutionize and reshape the world.
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