Jennifer Doudna: How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA
Jennifer Doudna - Biologist
Jennifer Doudna was part of inventing a potentially world-changing genetic technology: the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9. Full bio
for editing genomes.
scientists to make changes
to cure genetic disease.
through a basic research project
how bacteria fight viral infections.
in their environment,
like a ticking time bomb --
to defuse the bomb
an adaptive immune system called CRISPR,
viral DNA and destroy it.
is a protein called Cas9,
and eventually degrade viral DNA
of this protein, Cas9,
harness its function
specific bits of DNA into cells
been possible in the past.
has already been used
of mice and monkeys,
the CRISPR technology
they could use CRISPR
of an integrated HIV virus
of genome editing
that we have to consider,
not only in adult cells,
about the technology that I co-invented,
and societal implications
what the CRISPR technology is,
a prudent path forward
they inject their DNA.
to be plucked out of the virus,
into the chromosome --
get inserted at a site called CRISPR.
interspaced short palindromic repeats.
we use the acronym CRISPR.
to record, over time,
are passed on to the cells' progeny,
not only in one generation,
to keep a record of infection,
Blake Wiedenheft, likes to say,
a genetic vaccination card in cells.
into the bacterial chromosome,
of a molecule called RNA,
of the viral DNA.
with DNA molecules
from the CRISPR locus
to protein called Cas9,
like a sentinel in the cell.
of the DNA in the cell,
the sequences in the bound RNAs.
the blue molecule is DNA --
to cut up the viral DNA.
that can cut DNA --
in the DNA helix.
this complex is programmable,
particular DNA sequences,
could be harnessed for genome engineering,
a very precise change to the DNA
this break was introduced.
a word-processing program
the CRISPR system for genome engineering
to detect broken DNA
a double-stranded break in its DNA,
the ends of the broken DNA
in the sequence of that position,
a new piece of DNA at the site of the cut.
double-stranded breaks into DNA
to repair those breaks,
of new genetic information.
the CRISPR technology
causing cystic fibrosis, for example,
to repair that mutation.
it's been in development since the 1970s.
were very promising,
that they were either inefficient,
for use in their own laboratories,
like CRISPR and utilize it has appeal,
genome engineering technologies
to rewire your computer
a new piece of software,
is like software for the genome,
using these little bits of RNA.
break is made in DNA,
that cause sickle cell anemia
applications of the CRISPR technology
to deliver this tool into cells,
that's going on
of human disease, such as mice.
very precise changes
that these changes in the cell's DNA
in this case, an entire organism.
was used to disrupt a gene
for the black coat color of these mice.
differ from their pigmented litter-mates
in the entire genome,
from these animals,
where we induced it,
are going on in other animals
for human disease,
that we can use these systems
in particular tissues,
the CRISPR tool into cells.
that DNA is repaired after it's cut,
and limit any kind of off-target,
of using the technology.
clinical application of this technology,
that we will see clinical trials
therapies within that time,
to think about.
around this technology,
in start-up companies
to commercialize the CRISPR technology,
in these companies.
for things like enhancement.
to engineer humans
such as stronger bones,
to cardiovascular disease
to be desirable,
or to be taller, things like that.
would give rise to these traits
to make such changes,
that we have to carefully consider,
have called for a global pause
of the CRISPR technology in human embryos,
implications of doing so.
precedent for such a pause
on the use of molecular cloning,
could be tested carefully and validated.
are not with us yet,
are happening right now.
a huge responsibility,
both the unintended consequences
of a scientific breakthrough.
a technology with huge consequences,
or a moratorium or a quarantine
the therapeutic results of this,
of The Economist -- "Editing humanity."
it's not about therapeutics.
did you get back in March
for a moment and think about it?
were actually, I think, delighted
to discuss this openly.
as well as others,
of viewpoints about this.
careful consideration and discussion.
happening in December
of Sciences and others,
out of the meeting, practically?
this technology responsibly.
a consensus point of view,
for example, at Harvard,
are just a question of safety.
in animals and in labs,
we move on to humans."
school of thought,
this opportunity and really go for it.
in the science community about this?
some people holding back
or don't regulate at all?
especially something like this,
a variety of viewpoints,
for human genome engineering,
consideration and discussion
and other fields of science
pretty much like yours.
intelligence, autonomous robots and so on.
a similar discussion in those fields,
serve as a blueprint for other fields?
to get out of the laboratory.
uncomfortable to do that.
in the genesis of this
in a position of responsibility.
that other technologies
something that could have implications
About the speaker:Jennifer Doudna - Biologist
Jennifer Doudna was part of inventing a potentially world-changing genetic technology: the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9.
Why you should listen
Together with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umeå University in Sweden, Berkeley biologist Jennifer Doudna is at the center of one of today's most-discussed science discoveries: a technology called CRISPR-Cas9 that allows human genome editing by adding or removing genetic material at will. This enables fighting genetic diseases (cutting out HIV, altering cancer cells) as well as, potentially, opening the road to "engineered humans."
Because some applications of genetic manipulation can be inherited, Doudna and numerous colleagues have called for prudent use of the technology until the ethics and safety have been properly considered.
Jennifer Doudna | Speaker | TED.com