Gene-editing technology is Science magazine’s 2015 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’

Gene-editing technology is Science magazine’s 2015 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’

The 2015 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ has been unveiled by Science magazine and a gene-editing technology is the winner. According to experts, the technology is going to change life as it potentially will be revolutionizing basic science, medicine and agriculture.

With the help of the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, derived from a bacterial protein, scientists can alter, cut and paste particular portions of DNA. This would offer a path to fresh genetic diseases’ treatments or cures.

John Travis, Science managing news editor, said that though the technique was developed for the first time in 2012, CRISPR came into its own in 2015 and has started bringing transformation in science and triggered a public debate that made it the most outstanding scientific development of this year.

While speaking to CBS News, Travis said that it’s an ‘unprecedented selection’. Earlier, CRISPR has appeared as a Science ‘Breakthrough’ runner-up two times. The technology is the only runner-up that later on elevated to the status of ‘Breakthrough of the Year’.

Travis added that CRISPR has thrown out this year's Pluto space mission for the top vote. New Horizons spacecraft of NASA sent back pictures of nitrogen glaciers, ice mountains and a range of tumbling moons, in July.

Furthermore, Travis said that the selection process is a careful one. “Throughout the year, we try to keep track of major developments and then after Labor Day, we collect a short list of 40 to 45 possibilities and begin a winnowing process”, he mentioned.