Vastavam Web: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded this year to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on “genetic scissors” that can cut DNA at a precise location, allowing scientists to make specific changes to specific genes.
“This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true,” the Nobel Committee said in announcing the prize.
A Year In, 1st Patient To Get Gene Editing For Sickle Cell Disease Is Thriving. Already, doctors have used the technology to experimentally treat sickle cell disease, with promising results.
“Once in a long time, an advance comes along that utterly transforms an entire field and does so very rapidly,” says Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which has long supported Doudna’s research. “You cannot walk into a molecular biology laboratory today, working on virtually any organism, where CRISPR-Cas9 is not playing a role in the ability to understand how life works and how disease happens. It’s just that powerful.”