CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna: Gene-edited foods could hit stores by 2024

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While ethicists debate the applications of blockbuster gene-editing tool Crispr in human healthcare, an inventor of the tool believes it has a more immediate application: improving our food.”I think in the next five years the most profound thing we’ll see in terms of Crispr’s effects on people’s everyday lives will be in the agricultural sector,” Jennifer Doudna, the University of California Berkeley geneticist who unearthed Crispr in early experiments with bacteria in 2012,

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Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR co-inventor. Image: Ryan Anson / AP Images

told Business Insider.

Crispr’s appeal in food is straightforward: it’s cheaper and easier than traditional breeding methods, including those that are used to make genetically modified crops (also known as GMOs) currently. It’s also much more precise. Where traditional breeding methods hack away at a crop’s genome with a dull blade, tools like Crispr slice and reshape with scalpel-like precision.

Related article:  New meta-analysis finds Bt crops have no impact on soil biota

Want a mushroom that doesn’t brown? A corn crop that yields more food per acre? Both already exist, though they haven’t yet made it to consumers’ plates. What about a strawberry with a longer shelf life….”I think all of those things are coming relatively quickly,” Doudna said.

Read full, original article: CRISPR Co-Inventor: We’ll Be Eating Gene-Edited Food In Five Years

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