But what’s truly remarkable is that her work represents just one front of a broad revolution in genetics sparked by the technique called CRISPR-Cas9. Just four years old, this discovery is transforming research into how to treat disease, what we eat and how we’ll generate electricity, fuel our cars and even save endangered species. Experts believe that CRISPR can be used to reprogram the cells not just in humans but also in plants, insects–practically any piece of DNA on the planet. On June 2, a scientist at MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute announced the development of a related CRISPR technique that can edit RNA, which is responsible for regulation and expression of genes. If DNA is the genetic alphabet, RNA spells actual words. In plain terms, that means the already vast possibilities for CRISPR got even bigger.
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