Today it was announced that scientists in the Francis Crick Institute in the UK would be allowed to use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit the genome in human embryos. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding CRISPR technology (apart from patent rights and giving proper credit, there have been lots of ethical issues with the technology) especially when one Chinese group used the technology (perhaps prematurely) to edit human embryos. This time, the scientists, led by Kathy Niakan, have received official permission from the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to be able to conduct their research. The main interests in their research revolve around infertility. For more information, check out Nature News.
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to:
Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory, Hertfordshire, UK
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
For their mechanistic studies on DNA repair. (As a Turkish chemistry major from UNC, huge shoutout to Sancar for this accomplishment… perhaps it’s a sign for me?)
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 is awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information. Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments.