The heated legal war over the ownership of the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology has finally reached a verdict. The US Patent and Trademark Office (UPTO) concluded that evidence favored the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for most patents rather than UC Berkeley, the technology´s initial inventor.
Researchers from Harvard University announced their plan to bring the woolly mammoth back to life using CRISPR/Cas9 within two years’ time. This would not only allow us to learn more about the prehistoric behemoth, but would also represent a first step towards preservation of endangered species.
Discovery of the CRISPR gene-editing technology is widely considered the biggest scientific breakthrough since the discovery of PCR. However, less publicized is the intense legal war being fought over who the technology´s rightful owner is, a decision that could drastically influence its future use.
The Olympic Games go long way back, however, the modern Summer Olympics that are held every four years started in Athens in 1986. Ever since, hundreds of thousands of athletes, men and women of all race, have competed in this series of prestigious sporting events.
With all the talk about it in the scientific community, there is probably no surprise that this is yet another article discussing CRISPR. However, this may be one of the most profound discussions around the technology as it involves what could arguably be the potential flagship use of the gene editing tool – human therapy.
Lately, a major step forward has been made in using CRISPR technology in neurosciences. Over the past few years, scientists have been using gene sequencing to uncover genes that are important in brain development and in neurological diseases. The next step is to figure out if disrupting these genes can cause any of these diseases.
Advances in gene editing technology have spurred considerable progress towards a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Although the disease is rare – affecting roughly 1 in 5,000 male births – its consequences are devastating: patients are confined to wheelchairs at an early age and often succumb to heart or respiratory failure in their twenties or thirties.
The Francis Crick Institute of London was granted permission for genome editing in human embryos in order to study the complex processes involved in early miscarriage. This is the first time a research team has ever been exempt from the ban on human testing and represents an important step forward for science.
An international collaboration of scientists successfully produced a stable artificial strain of bacteria with an extended “genetic alphabet”. The microbe encompasses two additional “X” and “Y” nucleotides, which enable it to store increased information within its genome, laying foundations for new forms of life.