Genome Editing

The Genome Editing conference was given by Dr. Daniela Suter, a biologist that talked about the human genome, what CRISPR is and what it is used on, new technology regarding genomes, the definition of epigenetics, the importance of data science in medicine, breakthroughs on cloning, genetic testing and of course, the ethics that are involved on this subject. She explained to us basic concepts, starting by defining what a genome is. She then talked about Gen Suisse, the company she works for.

She then gave us a biological explanation of the genomes, and continued by talking about the initiative to read a human genome. Some data she shared with us was the cost of the project, the effort, and the advances that had happened in only twenty years. About CRISPR, she basically said that it was a new technology that could change the world, and that it is doing just that. It is used on rats, food, fuel, surgery and drugs. Every aspect of human life can be affected by it. And on the topic of epigenetics, she made it very clear that your experiences may impact your DNA since the codes are passed on your DNA, but they are choices you have and can revert. With the data, scientists will be able to build sequences that will form patterns and help fight and give a better understanding of diseases. She talked about cloning, and how it has evolved from being an idea to a rapidly advancing reality, since just a couple of months ago a monkey was effectively cloned. And she finished the conference with a couple of ethical questions that were left open, because there is no correct way of answering them.

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