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Splicing and Dicing DNA: Genome Engineering and the CRISPR Revolution


Splicing and Dicing DNA: Genome Engineering and the CRISPR Revolution

CRISPR: It’s the powerful gene editing technology transforming biomedical research. Fast, cheap and easy to use, it allows scientists to rewrite the DNA in just about any organism—including humans—with tests on human embryos already underway. The technique’s potential to radically reshape everything from disease prevention to the future of human evolution has driven explosive progress and heated debate. Join the world’s CRISPR pioneers to learn about the enormous possibilities and ethical challenges as we stand on the threshold of a brave new world of manipulating life’s fundamental code.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Original Program Date: June 3 2016
MODERATOR: Richard Besser
PARTICIPANTS: George Church, Luke Dow, Josephine Johnston, Ben Matthews, Harry Ostrer, Noel Sauer

What is CRISPR? 00:00

Introduction by Richard Besser 3:58

Participant Introductions. 5:02

What is so powerful about CRISPR? 7:25

How is CRISPR is used? 13:00

How will CRISPR help eliminate Zika Virus? 20:45

Modifying 60 genes at once in a pig. 26:02

What are potential agricultural advantages from CRISPR? 28:44

If you have eaten CRISPR cells? 35:00

Using a gene drives to eliminate virus? 37:40

Creating an off switch for CRISPR 40:27

How is it ethical to not rid the world of malaria? 42:55

What is the difference between editing a germ line and editing a cancer cell? 48:27

Why would the first CRISPR baby create backlash? 58:48

How do we regular CRISPR used in military applications? 1:06:33

What is the regulation to be expected from CRISPR? 1:13:09

What does a CRISPR-ised world look like? 1:16:00

Splicing and Dicing DNA: Genome Engineering and the CRISPR Revolution


CRISPR in Context: The New World of Human Genetic Engineering

It’s happened. The first children genetically engineered with the powerful DNA-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 have been born to a woman in China. Their altered genes will be passed to their children, and their children’s children. Join CRISPR’s co-discoverer, microbiologist Jennifer Doudna, as we explore the perils and the promise of this powerful technology. It is not the first time human ingenuity has created something capable of doing us great good and great harm. Are we up to the challenge of guiding how CRISPR will shape the future?

PARTICIPANTS: Jennifer Doudna, Jamie Metzl, William Hurlbut



0:00 - Introduction
1:55 - Jennifer Doudna introduction
2:25 - How do we learn to use CRISPR technology wisely?
3:29 - The basics of understanding CRISPR
6:04 - Genetic engineering explainer film
7:39 - How can CRISPR help the worldwide food chain?
9:57 - Genetic disease treatment
14:25 - Improving quality of life
15:55 - Designer babies
17:55 - The gene drive
19:25 - Confronting the ethical implications of CRISPR
23:55 - Jennifer’s childhood in Hawaii
28:25 - Patents
32:08 - Importance of accuracy
32:40 - Germ cells vs somatic cells
35:58 - He Jiankui controversy
40:05 - What makes CRISPR dangerous?
43:48 - How do we enforce regulation of CRISPR use?
53:50 - The aftermath of He Jiankui’s work
1:09:25 - How do we make CRISPR technology accessible globally?
1:14:00 - How do we balance natural biology and CRISPR?
1:18:44 - How will CRISPR impact our future as a species?

- Produced by Nils Kongshaug
- Associate Produced by Emmalina Glinskis
- Music provided by APM
- Additional images and footage provided by: Getty Images, Shutterstock, Videoblocks.
- Recorded at the Simons Foundation's Gerald D. Fishbaum Auditorium

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The series, “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation.

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Gene Splicing & Recombinant DNA


Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9

This animation depicts the CRISPR-Cas9 method for genome editing – a powerful new technology with many applications in biomedical research, including the potential to treat human genetic disease. Feng Zhang, a leader in the development of this technology, is a faculty member at MIT, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a core member of the Broad Institute. Further information can be found on Prof. Zhang’s website at .

To learn more visit

Images and footage courtesy of Sputnik Animation, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Justin Knight and pond5.

Meet the biohacker using CRISPR to teach everyone gene editing

Meet the biohacker who wants to teach everyone how to edit genes

Josiah Zayner is a biohacker who thinks everyone should be able to change their DNA with biotechnology called CRISPR. That’s why he founded a company called The ODIN, which sells do-it-yourself biotech kits that teach people how to genetically modify bacteria and frogs. It's DIY gene therapy.

His company has sold tens of thousands of experiments using CRISPR, an inexpensive and precise gene-editing technology that has revolutionized the field.

Find more on CRISPR at Quartz


Quartz is a digital news outlet dedicated to telling stories at the intersection of the important and the interesting. Visit us at to read more.

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The Realities of Gene Editing with CRISPR I NOVA I PBS

CRISPR gene-editing technology is advancing quickly. What can it do now—and in the future?

The revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR can alter, add, and remove genes from the human genome. The implications are immense: It could help eliminate illnesses like sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy, and could even allow us to alter the genes of future generations of humans, leading to so-called designer babies. But will this ever really happen?

Medical journalist and pediatrician Alok Patel investigates the current state of CRISPR—starting with a bull calf named Cosmo. Patel discovers how scientists edited Cosmo’s genome so he would produce more male offspring, and what that means for humans. In conversation with scientists, artists, and ethicists, Patel explores what kind of gene editing is actually possible right now—and what we should be thinking about when we consider manipulating human traits and, ultimately, the human experience.


Hosted by Dr. Alok Patel

Caitlin Saks

Robert Kirwan

Jay Colamaria

Arlo Pérez

Zachary Fink

Ana Aceves
Christina Monnen
Arlo Pérez
Jay Colamaria

Lorena Lyon

Jessie Hendricks
Samuel Lipsey

Adam Bartley

Edgeworx Studios

2K-12 Studios
Mitch Butler


David Bigelow

Chris Anderson

AP Archive
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Getty Images
He Jiankui Lab / CC BY
Penn Medicine
Pond 5

Mike Baylis -- Assisted in the set up of a remote interview, at no cost.
Isaac Plant -- Reviewed script and graphics for scientific accuracy, at no cost.
Elizabeth Delgado -- Reviewed script and graphics for scientific accuracy, at no cost.
Dr. Samira Kiani -- Reviewed script and graphics for scientific accuracy, at no cost.
Dr. Kim Thornton -- Interviewed but did not include in the final film, at no cost.

Françoise Baylis
Teresa Blankmeyer Burke
Karmella Haynes
Xavier LaPlante
David Liu
Bret McNabb
Liana Novoa
Alok Patel
Ariana Pelaez
Brianna Sapienza
Niaz Uddin
Alison Van Eenennaam

Image credit: (DNA helix)

© WGBH Educational Foundation

CRISPR and 6 Ways It's Changing the World | The Deets

CRISPR is all about advanced gene therapy and splicing -- and it’s bringing sci-fi ideas straight into reality. Here's a rundown of everything you need to know about CRISPR and how it’s changing the world as we know it! Listen for yourself, and you can decide whether it’s exciting...or terrifying.



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CRISPR: Gene editing and beyond

The CRISPR-Cas9 system has revolutionised gene-editing, but cutting DNA isn’t all it can do. From turning gene expression on and off to fluorescently tagging particular sequences, this animation explores some of the exciting possibilities of CRISPR.

Download a poster on ‘The expanding CRISPR toolbox’ here:

Produced with support from Dharmacon:

Nature has full responsibility for all editorial content, including Nature Video content. This content is editorially independent of sponsors.

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, free in your inbox every weekday.

Community contributed translations are enabled on this video. Nature is not responsible for the content of community-translated closed captions.

CRISPR and the Future of Genetic Splicing | Adam Hoppe | TEDxBrookings

The ability to cut and paste DNA, known as CRISPR, is the beginning of a new era in medicine and science. In this mind-blowing talk, Adam Hoppe explains what CRISPR is and why it is revolutionizing the sciences and what is possible in medical treatment.

Dr. Adam Hoppe is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at South Dakota State University and the director of BioSNTR, a state-wide and federally funded initiative aimed at strengthening research in bioscience and biotechnology.

Dr. Hoppe’s research is focused on discovering how immune system cells protect the body against disease. To approach this question, Dr. Hoppe’s lab combines the development of new microscopes with cutting-edge molecular genetic tools to see the biochemistry that underlies immune cell function.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Introduction to genetic engineering | Molecular genetics | High school biology | Khan Academy

Introduction to genetic engineering. Human breeding. Recombinant DNA. Bioethics.

View more lessons or practice this subject at

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. We offer quizzes, questions, instructional videos, and articles on a range of academic subjects, including math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, preschool learning, and more. We provide teachers with tools and data so they can help their students develop the skills, habits, and mindsets for success in school and beyond. Khan Academy has been translated into dozens of languages, and 15 million people around the globe learn on Khan Academy every month. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we would love your help! Donate or volunteer today!

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How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA | Jennifer Doudna

Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases … but could also be used to create so-called designer babies. Doudna reviews how CRISPR-Cas9 works — and asks the scientific community to pause and discuss the ethics of this new tool.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
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What is CRISPR & How Could It Edit Your DNA?

Gene-editing tool CRISPR is everywhere in the news, but what is it and could it eliminate disease?

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Should We Make Designer Babies? ►►►►

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CRISPR: A game-changing genetic engineering technique

Have you heard? A revolution has seized the scientific community. Within only a few years, research labs worldwide have adopted a new technology that facilitates making specific changes in the DNA of humans, other animals, and plants.

CRISPR gene therapy: Scientists call for more public debate around breakthrough technique

The technique, known as CRISPR, could revolutionise human gene therapy and genetic engineering because it allows scientists for the first time to make the finest changes to the DNA of the chromosomes with relative ease.

DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily.

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Rewriting DNA: Big Returns from Gene Editing

Date - Tue Apr 19, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
SRI International Conference Center
*Ted Driscoll, Parther & Digital Healthcare Lead, Claremont Creek Ventures

*Riley Doyle, CEO & Technical Lead, Desktop Genetics
*Edward Lanphier, President & CEO, Sangamo BioSciences
*Jenny Rooke, PhD & Managing Director, 5 Prime Ventures

Imagine cutting and pasting genes in DNA, just like editing words in a document on a computer. CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology does just that, making it possible to replace genetic material with a simpler, cheaper, more precise method than ever before. Dubbed “the biggest biotech discovery of the century” supporters of CRISPR call out benefits such as potential cures for diseases like cancer, malaria, and cystic fibrosis; increased crop yields; and correcting genetic defects. Opponents raise ethical concerns citing the law of unintended consequences, designer babies, and interspecies organ transplants.

With the market for gene editing expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2019, the stakes for companies, scientists, and entrepreneurs are high with battles already being waged over patents. Notably, pharmaceutical companies are jumping in to protect their interests, too. Will the winner take all? Can CRISPR eradicate viruses like AIDS and Zika? Can science truly control genetics?

CRISPR – Genetic Engineering 2.0

CRISPR, the next stage of genetic engineering?
In 2013, researchers announced a fast and precise new method for editing the genetic code – much more powerful than all other genetic tools so far known. The so-called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) system takes ad- vantage of an antiviral defence strategy used by bacteria and allows precise genetic manipulations in a wide range of different species.
This genetic method has caused a massive hype in genetic research and already spawned many start-up companies and impressive venture capital investment, since it could make the old dream of genetic therapy finally come true. Chinese researchers have even tried to alter the genetic code of human embryos using CRISPR, triggering an ethical debate among scientists and ethicists alike and stirring up fears of a long neglected taboo: the (non-therapeutic) genetic engineering of humans.
Martin Jinek studied Chemistry and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge (UK) and is currently assistant professor in the department of Biochemistry at the University of Zurich. He authored the first scientific publication that proposed the use of the CRISPR system for genome editing.
Effy Vayena studied Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota (USA). She currently leads the newly established Health Ethics and Policy Lab in the Department of Public Health at the EBPI, University of Zurich, and was recently appointed a Swiss National Science Foundation Professor of Health Policy.

Hack your DNA with CRISPR - VPRO documentary - 2018

You won't be able to blame it on your genetics anymore: with CRISPR, it's so easy to hacn into your DNA. CRISPR technology is our future, and experiments with DNA hacking are booming. CRISPR biotechnology is not science fiction anymore, it is our very near future. Would you hack and reprogram your own DNA with CRISPR? Breaking the code of life, hacking DNA at home.

Welcome to the world of a new nature. We can now literally cut and paste DNA with the new CRISPR technology. There is a revolutionary development going on that will have major consequences for humans, plants and animals. The new biotechnology is here.

'Bio is the New Digital'. We are able to accurately reprogram the genetic code of our body cells, embryos, bacteria, viruses and plants. With the CRISPR technology we can adjust the characteristics of each organism to our needs. This allows us to permanently ban diseases, improve our body conditions and adapt plants to our food needs.

The special feature of CRISPR technology is that it is relatively simple. In the past year, the number of experiments and applications has exploded. Around the world, people have been tinkering with CRISPR: experimenting at home with the 'Do it Yourself CRISPR kits'.

Scientists call for new ethical frameworks. The demand for the (un)desirable so-called designer babies is imminent. Although this is not yet the case, we can put an end to hereditary diseases in the short term. We may also want to make bacteria that can eat oil or plastic, pigs in which human organs can grow or bring extinct animals back to life.
It looks like science fiction but it is now closer to our reality than ever.
With: Emmanuelle Charpentier (geneticist), John van der Oost (microbiologist), Andrew Hessel (biotechnologist), Niels Geijsen (cell biologist), Josiah Zayner (biohacker) and Ivan van der Meij (FSHD patient).

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018.
© VPRO Backlight Mars 2018

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Director: Rob van Hattum
Research: William de Bruijn
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.

Genetically modified dogs: Chinese scientists use CRISPR to create muscly freaks - TomoNews

GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Scientists of the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health claim to be the first to use genome modification to double the muscle mass of dogs.

Their findings, recently published in the latest edition of the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, have broken new ground in the field of genetic engineering. For this new research, the scientists used 65 beagle dog embryos, focusing in on genes encoded for myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle growth. By injecting the enzyme complex CRISPR-Cas9 into the embryos, the objective was to knock out the myostatin genes in the DNA of the canines. With myostatin deleted, the beagles would be able to reach new levels of muscle growth.

The breakthrough study resulted in the births of 27 beagle puppies. The scientists report only two of them, a boy they named Hercules and a girl they named Tiangou, had disruptions in their myostatin genes. The researchers say that the gene editing turned out to be incomplete in Hercules, allowing for a percentage of his muscle cells to continue to produce myostatin. But with Tiangou, the gene editing was indeed complete, resulting in her thigh muscles growing to be significantly larger than those of her litter mates. The scientists say the dogs have more muscles and are expected to have stronger running ability, which could make for freakishly powerful hunting dogs and military canines.

In the past, the Chinese have performed gene editing on goats, rabbits, rats, monkeys and even human embryos. While the scientists say this particular study was undertaken to learn more about gene modification for human disease treatments, such as Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy, it’s hard not to wonder what else they might do.


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How CRISPR gene editing puts scientists in the driver's seat of evolution

Imagine you could edit a mouse’s genes to be resistant to Lyme Disease. The mouse would breed and evolution would take its course, leading to the extinction of the disease. That’s the vision for scientists developing CRISPR, technology that allows scientists to rewrite the code of life. William Brangham talks to Michael Specter who wrote about CRISPR for The New Yorker.

Gene editing through CRISPR will have great benefits to health and the environment

From the conversation A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution (Aspen Ideas Festival 2017)

Full session:

A Leap Forward in Genome Engineering

Gene editing is nothing new: researchers have had the technologies to tinker with the genome for decades. But the newest technique, known as CRISPR, is expected to completely revolutionize the field. At the 2016 World Science Festival, bioengineer Neville Sanjana discussed just what makes CRISPR different from its predecessors, and why it is poised to bring genome engineering into a new era.

Excerpt from – Salon: Game Change - CRISPR's Brave New World
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