The CRISPR Revolution: Potential Impacts on Global Health Security




Watters, Kyle

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Biotechnology and medicine are constantly battling threats to global health security. Many modern techniques exist for detecting and predicting where outbreaks might occur and between small molecule drugs, like antibiotics, biologics, and vaccines, much progress has been made in treating diseases globally. However, outbreaks still frequently occur, and many pathogens exist for which there are no treatment. In this review, we paint a picture of the challenges faced in maintaining global health security and how a new wave of gene editing technologies can overcome them. We discuss a number of technologies that are actively developing CRISPR as a treatment or diagnostic tool as well as how CRISPR tools can affect drug development indirectly and speculate on what the near future for these research directions holds. Last, some of the risks associated with gene editing technologies and the efforts scientists are undertaking to mitigate them are covered. Overall, CRISPR and gene editing technologies are likely to have a positive influence on our global health security outlook, both as a form of treatment and detection tool as well as a force for increasing the rate of biological and drug discovery.



CRISPR, Gene editing, Global health security, Biotechnology