Theoretically, scientists can “just” snip out a patient’s genetic risk for disease by using the gene editing tool CRISPR. However, there are still many out there who argue that innovations in genomics is moving forward at a pace faster then our ability to parse their potential consequences. 

 Eric Topol shares his vision for a genomic, digital future of healthcare

The promises and perils of this new technology were discussed by leaders within gene therapy such as Eric Topol and J. Craig Venter, to mention a few, during a panel discussion at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference, last week. 


Since the 1970’s, the idea of inserting new DNA into an organism’s genome has been the focus of many different research studies. Over the last 40 years or so, our experiments have evolved from simple microinjections of viral DNA, to complex semi-synthetic nucleases, to highly accurate technologies such as CRISPR, with each new stage of the development improving our understanding of genomics.

Gene editing has always been a controversial topic but as our knowledge increases, the potential benefits of this technology are also growing – our Gene Editing 101 is designed to illuminate this often confusing and sometimes poorly explained topic, while showcasing the enormous potential of these technologies. With the help of our sponsors and external contributors, we’ve tried to put together an unbiased, clear guide that covers the basics of modern gene editing. We focus on the central topics and techniques currently being used around the world to make this guide as accessible and functional as possible.