Less than a decade after its official debut, genome editing technology CRISPR it has already revolutionized the world, with virtually limitless potential. By modifying the genetic code of living cells, CRISPR has opened up new opportunities in the medicine, In 'agriculture and even in fight against climate change. There are already some successes in treating genetic diseases, but 2023 is the year we can have the greatest hopes of seeing the true reach of CRISPR in many industries.
Agriculture and livestock...
We expect important developments from Japanese research on the "super tomato" modified with CRISPR. Thanks to its properties, it can feed and heal in a single shot. In the USA, however, the closest research to tangible results concerns a gene that makes the coat of cattle more heat resistant. They are the "leader" of dozens of researches exploring the use of CRISPR to increase crop yields, waste much less water and drastically reduce the use of pesticides.
...but above all agriculture.
Second Krsna Niyogi, professor of plant and microbial biology at UC Berkeley, CRISPR can improve the efficiency of photosynthetic reactions in plants by 20 50% to%. This could mean capturing more carbon from the air, to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Agriculture, in summary, could potentially sequester billions of tons of carbon each year.
How to feed the world in tough times
Agriculture, we said, can help us "defend" the blow of climate change in many ways, with the collaboration of CRISPR. "Traditional plant breeding," he says jennifer doudna, chemistry and Nobel Prize for the Invention of CRISPR, "has always been based on random modifications of DNA, introduced by chemical mutagens. Mutations that have allowed growers to select plants with the desired traits. CRISPR will change this way of working, removing the randomness of the process and precisely enhancing specific sequences of DNA in plants, one at a time or in multiple genes simultaneously".
High-precision instruments: it is no coincidence that we speak precisely (but not only for this reason) of precision farming. The crops of wheat, rice, bananas, cassava e sorghum, as well as important crops profitable for developing countries such as cacao, will literally be transformed.
CRISPR gene editing opens up a world of opportunities for agriculture and its ability to feed the world more sustainably and resiliently to climate change. With this technology, plant biologists can develop pest and disease resistant plant varieties. Plants with reduced water needs, able to thrive in extreme climatic conditions.