Gene editing, done with a technology called CRISPR, is a controversial field in the world of science. While it has the potential to do tremendous good, in the wrong hands, it can do tremendous evil. A new breakthrough from scientists at MIT and Harvard puts up points for the good guys.
The research, published in Nature on Monday, describes a new technique is called “prime editing.” According to the paper, this method “directly writes new genetic information into a specified DNA site.” It adds precision to older CRISPR techniques. Prime editing does not require donor DNA and DNA breaks to work.
Gene editing has the potential to remove mutations associated with disease. The hope is that it will be able to fix problems without unintended side effects.