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Open Access Publications from the University of California

CRISPR V Culture


New gene editing technologies give us the potential ability to bring back extinct species, help control the spread of invasive ones, and genetically modify those that spread diseases. They allows us to not only influence the evolutionary path of entire species, but entire ecosystems as well. Furthermore, gene editing has the potential to help us live healthier and longer lives. We have moved past rudimentary macroscopic methods of DNA manipulation and can now remove individual genes from a strand of DNA. However, due to the complexity of this technology, and given that there are few who can use it to its full effect, people have largely failed to respond to its development, particularly regulators. It is not within the scope of this paper to explore the full implications of these various emerging technologies, so instead I will focus on CRISPR, a specific new gene editing complex first used in 2012, and the major developments that have taken place since then.

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