The Dutch town of Wageningen was already a spot on the genome-editing map for the work of the CRISPR pioneer John van der Oost. Its university now aims to inspire a worldwide change in CRISPR patents policies, by announcing that it will allow non-profit organizations to use its CRISPR technology for free for non-commercial agricultural applications.
Nature is applauding the move and spreading the message, with an editorial and a correspondence signed by van der Oost and Louise Fresco, who is the university’s president and has worked extensively in developing countries for many years (by the way did you read her book Hamburgers in Paradise?).
Let’s hope Nature is right in predicting it could be “another step towards making a technology with untapped potential more accessible — especially for researchers in low- and middle-income countries.”