The discovery of an ancient adaptive immune system in bacteria, called the CRISPR/Cas system, has revolutionized modern science. The bacterial proteins that identify and target viral DNA for degradation have been characterized and manipulated for a variety of uses in agriculture, molecular biology, and medicine. As the CRISPR/Cas9 technology is refined and improved, genome-editing applications in particular have broad implications for both bench science and human health. Here we trace key events in the discovery, development and adaptation of CRISPR/Cas9 technologies.

For information on the looming patent war, and ethical implications of CRISPR technologies, check out our related articles, Controlling CRISPR and The Ethics of Embryo Editing. Want a more detailed history of the evolution and applications of this phenomenal system? Be sure to read CRISPR in the Red Queen’s Court.

Click below to check out our CRISPR Infographic!
Click to check out our CRISPR Infographic! If you would like a pdf copy, please contact Copyright 2013 IMMPress Magazine. Reproduction without consent is prohibited.


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Catherine Schrankel

Former Co-Editor in Chief
Cat obtained her MSc in Biological Sciences from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is currently a PhD student of Immunology at the University of Toronto, and is interested in the development and evolution of immune systems (using the purple sea urchin as a model system). In her spare time, she loves to cook, run, and work on her burgeoning interests in scientific illustration and design.

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