‘A Crack in Creation’: Jennifer Doudna’s CRISPR memoir is flawed, but convincing

| | June 7, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The prospect of a memoir from Jennifer Doudna, a key player in the CRISPR story, quickens the pulse. And A Crack in Creation does indeed deliver a welcome perspective on the revolutionary genome-editing technique that puts the power of evolution into human hands….

So far, the Broad Institute has controlled the CRISPR narrative. Rich in funds and talent, the Broad melds sleek, high-tech sexiness with a sense of East Coast, old-money privilege…[In 2016], institute director Eric Lander published a now-infamous piece entitled ‘The heroes of CRISPR’ (E. Lander Cell 164, 1828; 2016)…Lander’s clear implication was that they were laying the groundwork; Zhang’s group got CRISPR over the finish line. To many of us, such tactics made Team Broad look like the villains of CRISPR.

crack Doudna’s book was a chance to deliver a righteous knockout blow. Instead, we get a counter-narrative just as constructed as Lander’s article…Rather than dispel the cartoon-character feel of this epic battle, Doudna elaborates on it. She presents us with a persona so flawless that it seems more concealing than revealing.

The larger purpose of A Crack in Creation, clearly, is to show that Doudna is the true hero of CRISPR. And ultimately, despite the book’s flaws, I’m convinced.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genome editing: That’s the way the CRISPR crumbles

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