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CRISPR Discussions

Supporters of the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 gathered in California to consider how the approach could and should be developed for use, Wired reports. The gathering was dubbed 'CRISPR Con.'

It notes that previous discussions of how CRISPR should be used have been conducted among experts at universities and federal agencies, and while this gathering brought together researchers, it also included conservationists, farmers, and just interested people. According to Wired, panelists at the meeting "discussed their greatest hopes and fears for the technology. There were no posters, no p-values; just a lot of real talk."

For instance, some panelists expressed the hope that modified agricultural products might prove to be more beneficial to the population at large than earlier generation ones, while others wondered about ways to ensure that CRISPR could be used to in medicine to help people of underserved communities.

"CRISPR is not a light on the nation, it's a mirror," said Greg Simon, director of the Biden Cancer Initiative, during his keynote address, according to Wired.