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Spotted: CRISPR crisis; tools of the trade

by  /  24 July 2015

WEEK OF
July 20th

CRISPR crisis

Few scientific techniques create as much unease as CRISPR, the gene-editing tool that can rewrite the genome as though it were jotted in pencil. A story published Wednesday in Wired looks at the history of CRISPR and forecasts its unnerving future. “The technique is revolutionary, and like all revolutions, it’s perilous,” the article reads.

One of the biggest worries around CRISPR is its simplicity. “Genome editing started with just a few big labs putting in lots of effort, trying something 1,000 times for one or two successes,” Hank Greely, bioethicist and professor of genetics at Stanford University, told Wired. “Now it’s something that someone with a [bachelor’s degree] and a couple thousand dollars’ worth of equipment can do.”

We’ll be watching to see what CRISPR has in store for the field of autism and beyond.