CRISPR: “The Most Consequential Discovery in This Century So Far”

Dr. Feng Zhang in his laboratory. (Credit: Len Rubenstein/ Courtesy of Broad Insititute)

CRISPR pioneer, Feng Zhang, and his mentor Eric Lander of the Broad Institute share their excitement about the potential of gene editing tool, CRISPR and how it could be used to treat or prevent disease in CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

“There are about 6,000 or more diseases that are caused by faulty genes. CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang says. “The hope is that we will be able to address most if not all of them.” 

“I think CRISPR, it’s fair to say, is perhaps the most surprising discovery and maybe most consequential discovery in this century so far,” Eric Lander adds. 

 

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However, Zhang stresses that the ramifications of making gene alterations are still unknown, saying that more work needs to be done to ensure CRISPR is safe and efficient. 

“I don’t think we’re close to ready to use it to go edit the human population,” Eric Lander says. “I think we’ve gotta use it for medicine for a while. I think those are the urgent questions. That’s what people want right now, is they want cures for disease.” 

As we all know, a CRISPR patent war has been going on between Dounda and Zhang for years. You can read more about that here. 

Watch the full video below: