CRISPR and the Future of Genome Engineering: A Bold New World


  • Kevin Wang Stanford University


The field of genome engineering has grown rapidly in the past decades, culminating in the discovery of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in 2012. The method has proven to be revolutionary, displaying immense potential for research and medicine. It exhibits incredible precision for reading and editing the genome and has lowered the price of gene editing technologies drastically. Possible applications of the system generally lie in either gene therapy, the treatment of diseases, or gene enhancements, the selection/augmentation of embryotic genes in so-called "designer babies." Currently, many reason against the adoption of the CRISPR system, citing the myriad ethical issues associated with the ability to manipulate genes. In this paper, I argue that CRISPR, and more generally genome engineering, are necessary technologies for the future. I aim to show that, with the necessary precautions, the system can, and should, be safely embraced for the betterment of society.