‘Unsung heroes’ of CRISPR often overshadowed by growing celebrity of lead discoverers

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Today, CRISPR is a household name for molecular biologists around the world. Researchers have eagerly co-opted the system to insert or delete DNA sequences in genomes across all kingdoms of life. CRISPR is being used to generate a new breed of genetically modified crops and may one day treat human genetic diseases. Doudna and other principal investigators involved in the seminal work have become scientific celebrities: they are profiled in major newspapers, star in documentaries and are rumoured to be contenders for a Nobel prize.

The history of CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing has become a subject of fierce debate and a bitter, high-stakes patent battle. Researchers and institutes have been jostling aggressively to make sure that they are credited for their share of the work in everything from academic papers to news stories…

Any lack of attention to CRISPR’s junior discoverers comes despite fervent advocacy on the part of their advisers. Junior investigators in the Church lab praise their leader’s unwavering support, along with the unique intellectual environment he has fostered in the lab. Doudna is a fierce champion of the scientists she has mentored.

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Read full, original post: The unsung heroes of CRISPR

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