Genome editing, also known as gene editing, refers to a type of genetic engineering in which scientists utilize new technologies to modify an organism’s DNA. Modern techniques in this field allow for genetic material to be inserted, removed, or edited at a specific location in the genome, which allows for unprecedented levels of deliberate alterations in living cells. One of the most recent genome editing advances has come from CRISPR-based techniques; and this has stirred up a lot of excitement from the medical community because it allows for cheaper and more efficient genome editing methods than previously available. While most of the gene-editing efforts have steered towards investigating ways prevent and treat human diseases, there are a wide range of other applications, including:
- Agriculture: increasing crop yields and improving plant resistance to disease and tolerance to climate change
- Industrial: useful for developing biofuels and new age materials requiring specific properties.
While there are many areas of potential growth for genome editing in the future, investors should remember that the disruptive potential of this technology comes with looming ethical concerns and ongoing experimentation that could pose risks, especially in the near-term.
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As of 03/01/21