On October 7, 2020, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Jennifer A. Doudna and her research associate Emmanuelle Charpentier from the University of California, Berkeley for their discovery of “one of gene technology's sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors” (asamonitor.pub/39HOuH2).

We are writing about CRISPR because it is the most profound discovery in biology since Franklin, Watson, and Crick determined the structure of DNA. If DNA is the program code for every human cell, CRISPR/Cas9 is the first editor for that program. With CRISPR you can write programs in the language of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine that are executed within all cells. CRISPR has “sparked a revolution in genome editing” (asamonitor.pub/3NaxfwH).

In 1987, Ishino and colleagues made an incidental finding in a study of the iap gene in Escherichia coli (J Bacteriol 1987;169:5429-33). The authors noted...

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