Gene-editing patents have increased tenfold in just four years. Here’s what the technology could cure

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CRISPR gene-editing trials have taken off—and may hold the key to medical breakthroughs. CRISPR-Cas9 is a method for quickly and accurately editing the genome of virtually any living thing. Using custom-built guide RNA paired with a cutting enzyme (Cas9), it can find and snip a selected sequence of DNA or RNA, eliminating or replacing a “bad” gene. Since it was first described, in late 2012, CRISPR has drastically accelerated the scope of research and moved into practical applications in medicine. So far in 2020, there are 15 trials underway. In medicine, where new drugs take a decade or more to develop, that’s game changing. Read Full Story

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2 women won the Nobel for CRISPR, but the battle for its patent rages on

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Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the Nobel Prize for figuring out how to use biological mechanisms to edit genes, but an ongoing legal battle makes their win complicated. This week Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a process to edit DNA known as CRISPR Cas-9. But the announcement, which comes amid a years-long battle over who owns the methodology to make genomic edits, is bittersweet. Read Full Story

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The $1 trillion quest to bring hospital care to your home

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Hospital buildings add a huge amount to medical bills. Moving care to people’s homes could dramatically reduce those costs. Doctor Bruce Leff is a hospital skeptic. A practicing geriatrician who’s been on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 25 years, Leff argues that hospitals don’t have their priorities straight. Read Full Story

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