Harvard Health Letter

Harvard researchers headline conference on gene editing

Harvard scientists are getting international attention for their work with breakthrough technology that can edit genes in living cells. Five Harvard experts—Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School, and Drs. Keith Joung, David Liu, Kiran Musunuru, and Derrick Rossi, all of Harvard University—were featured speakers in the first-ever CRISPR Congress, held in Boston in February 2015. CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. These are segments of genes that contain repeating sequences of DNA.

The Harvard experts spoke to other scientists about CRISPR, which holds the potential to repair gene mutations, fight disease, and improve food supplies. Harvard researchers have demonstrated that CRISPR may be able to lower cholesterol levels, correct gene mutations, and block HIV infection. "Suddenly anyone can edit any piece of any DNA a thousand times more easily and precisely than before, which is game-changing for gene therapies, organ transplantation, aging reversal, and malaria," says Dr. Church.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »