Join our NanoTalks in November and learn what is behind the 2020 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics. You will gain insights into CRISPR - today's leading gene editing technology - and the strongest confirmation of Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.
Genetic engineering was proven to be a powerful but challenging tool in basic research. In 2012, the discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 presented a quantum leap in the area. In bacterial cells, the CRISPR-Cas system constitutes a host defense system protecting it from invading viral threats. Thereby, Cas9 functions as a genetic scissor that recognizes and destroys the DNA of viruses in a sequence-specific manner. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna were able to reprogram the Cas9 scissor in a way that it can bind and cut nearly any DNA molecule, enabling the targeted deletion and rewriting of genetic information. Today, CRISPR/Cas finds application in various fields, ranging from the genetic modification of model organisms in basic research to the design of novel therapeutics against inherited diseases. Due to their contribution to the development of this revolutionary technique, the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier. My talk will give you insights into the evolution of CRISPR/Cas from a bacterial defense system to today’s leading gene editing technology.