The quest to make CRISPR gene editing as easy as a smartphone app

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[Biohacker Josiah Zayner] lives and works in Oakland, California, where he’s converted a house into a scientific lab. Here, he runs a company that sells genetic engineering kits to the public. In the U.S., gene editing is technically not illegal, but federal funding is either prohibited or extremely difficult to obtain.

“What we are trying to do is make genetic engineering technology accessible to people. We want people to be able to use genetic engineering technology as easily as they could use an app on their smartphone.”

Josiah’s kits start at about $150, depending on the cell cultures and organisms included for experimentation. The business, and the biohacker movement it helps service, came to exist, largely because of one new tool, called CRISPR.


Josiah genetically modified himself with CRISPR. He used the system to edit a gene in his muscles, to make them grow faster, to be bigger and make him stronger. He did this as a proof of concept to show people how easy it is, even for biohackers operating out of small labs, to manipulate genes.

“I think we are in the midst of a genetic revolution. I think this is, like, literally, a new era of human beings,” [Zayner] said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Playing God: “We are in the midst of a genetic revolution”

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