CRISPR-Cas9 Germline Editing: Full Steam Ahead to Revolutionary Profit or Revolutionary Public Medicine?

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Yuka Sai


The CRISPR-Cas9 system uses precise germline genome editing, which enables the mutagenesis of disease sequences in embryonic DNA, thus enabling the birth of healthy individuals who would otherwise inherit genetic diseases. In 2012, the scientific community rushed to claim intellectual property in anticipation of CRISPR’s future economic potential. As the war for commercial territory forges ahead, the question of public accessibility and affordability has largely gone unaddressed. The current drive towards total CRISPR-Cas9 commercialization will lead to exorbitant costs of accessing life-giving treatment, especially in regulatory frameworks that prohibit federal funding of germline editing research.

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