They may have lost the latest round in the patent dispute, but Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier will be forever celebrated as the inventors of CRISPR. In “The Code Breaker” by Walter Isaacson, Doudna tells how a school’s guidance counselor tried to discourage her from studying chemistry at college: “Girls don’t do science.” The Nobel prize came a few decades and many brilliant experiments later, it’s the first shared by two women. The institute founded by Doudna (IGI) is now launching an ad hoc incubator specifically to enhance gender equity in bio-entrepreneurship. Jennifer and Emmanuelle are unquestionably great role models for girls interested in science and started a wave of discoveries and inventions by female scientists. In the slideshow below, you can meet some of the brightest women in CRISPR.
Everyone knows IPCC, the forum created under the auspices of the United Nations to review the state of knowledge on climate change, draw scenarios on its impact, and compare alternative policies. Does the world need a similar body for the biotech revolution ahead, as claimed by Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut in Nature? Is a Global Observatory on Gene Editing the solution to our CRISPR troubles? We asked a pioneer of gene therapy and a pioneer of gene drives, but also a bioethicist, a political scientist, a social psychologist, a science historian. Continue reading →