Gene-Editing Technique CRISPR Wins Breakthrough of the Year Award

Gene-Editing Technique CRISPR Wins Breakthrough of the Year Award

Well-known US journal Science on Thursday named the gene-editing technique called CRISPR as 2015’s breakthrough of the year. The technique has been given the title after knowing its potential to revolutionize health and medicine.

The method gave rise to controversy after Chinese researchers said earlier this year that they had deliberately edited the DNA of nonviable human embryos from a fertility clinic.

Winning the Breakthrough of the Year Award CRISPR has left behind other events such as the discovery of Homo Naledi, a previously unknown ancestor to humans and the Pluto flyby, which allowed scientists to get an up-close view of Pluto and its moons for the first time ever.

Science's John Travis said in an explanation that since past year CRISPR has been a runner-up for the award, but this year it broke away the record and showed to the world its real power and potential in a series of spectacular achievements.

Travis, said, “Clinical researchers are already applying it to create tissue-based treatments for cancer and other diseases. CRISPR may also revive the moribund concept of transplanting animal organs into people”.

According to the makers of the CRISPR, it is a tool that allows scientists to swap a particular, potentially faulty gene with another, potentially healthy one. The thing that makes CRISPR different from other gene-editing techniques is that it is very easy and inexpensive to use.

This year scientists used CRISPR to modify genes in pigs to make their organs viable for transplants into humans. It was even used to make super-muscular beagles, they said.