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‘Strange’ decade gave us CRISPR, gene therapy advances and a Neanderthal genome

| | January 6, 2020

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

[H]ere, we present some of the innovations, both conceptual and technological, that stood out throughout the past decade.

In 2010, an international group of scientists published the first draft of the Neanderthal genome. And three years later, another large group of coauthors published a high-coverage, complete Neanderthal genome.

Beyond the remarkable advances concerning the sequencing of DNA, the 2010s saw the rapid establishment and development of a revolutionary genome editing strategy: CRISPR.

The 2010s were also momentous for personalized medicine and gene therapy. In 2017, the FDA approved the gene therapy Luxturna, which treats a single-gene disease that causes childhood blindness, making it the first such therapeutic to receive FDA approval.

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I can’t help feeling that the 2020s have big things in store for several areas of life science. The excitement that has built around personalized medicine, CRISPR as a therapeutic tool, and AI presage wide applications for these still-young technologies. As they have been throughout the decade, bioethicists in the 2020s will need to remain ever vigilant, considering continuing developments such as the creation of human/animal chimeras, the genomic modification of human embryos, and the potential of more-accessible genome sequencing.

Read full, original post: What A Long, Strange Decade It’s Been

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