Philanthropist Bill Gates today strongly endorsed new gene editing techniques such as CRISPR, saying they could help humanity overcome some of its “biggest and most persistent challenges” in global health and agriculture over the next decade.
“Eliminating the most persistent diseases and causes of poverty will require scientific discovery and technological innovations,” he wrote. “CRISPR makes the discovery and development of innovations much faster and more precise.”
In a statement released [April 10], Gates advocated for the use of gene editing techniques to address pressing problems in agriculture, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has been backing research into the use of gene editing for a decade, as well as medicine.
“The technology is making it much easier for scientists to discover better diagnostics, treatments, and other tools to fight diseases that still kill and disable millions of people every year, primarily the poor,” he wrote. “It is also accelerating research that could help end extreme poverty by enabling millions of farmers in the developing world to grow crops and raise livestock that are more productive, nutritious, and hardy.”
Editor’s note: Read Bill Gates’ full statement
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