Sunday, May 06, 2018
Josiah Zayner: ‘I want to help humans genetically modify themselves’
The DIY DNA kits utilize a technique that involves an enzyme complex known as CRISPR/Cas9, found in many bacteria. CRISPR (short for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats"), is a short, repeated sequence of RNA that matches the genetic sequence the researcher wants to modify. It works in concert with Cas9, an enzyme that cuts DNA like a pair of molecular scissors.
If that wasn't bad enough, Professor George Church, of Harvard University, who pioneered the use of the CRISPR technique, said it would be possible for criminals to use the technique to disappear from forensic databases or evade detection.
Criminals could alter their DNA to evade justice with new genetic editing tools
It could undermine DNA as a tool of crime detection completely or, at the very least, make its use as flimsy as a lie detector. The implications are sobering.
Now you think of the sequelae of your work?