The scientists’ work allows for laser-sharp snips in long strings of DNA, permitting researchers to precisely edit specific genes to remove errors that lead to disease.
“There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry. “It has not only revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to groundbreaking new medical treatments.”
“My greatest hope is that it’s used for good, to uncover new mysteries in biology, and to benefit humankind,” said Doudna, who is age 56 and works at the University of California at Berkeley.
But many have cautioned that the technology must be used carefully. In 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed he had helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies, to try to engineer resistance to future infection with the AIDS virus. His work was publicly condemned as unsafe human