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CRISPR On Your Own

Scientific American's Annie Sneed sought to determine just how easy CRISPR is for an amateur to use. She notes that the gene-editing tool, which is simpler than previous approaches for editing genes, has raised concerns that anyone could use it to cook up something dangerous.

But despite its relative easy of use as compared to older methods, Sneed writes that her attempts to use CRISPR failed. She both ordered a do-it-yourself kit from The Odin and met up with a night-and-weekend DIY-er to try the approach out. Both times, though, Sneed writes that it didn't work.

Still, she writes that it gives DIY-ers a new and cheaper tool, just as it does professional scientists.

The University of Utah's Dana Carroll also tells Sneed that the likelihood that a DIY-er would produce something harmful is small, and that if someone wanted to that there are easier ways to do so. He adds, too, that DIY-ers could come up with something useful. "It's possible that people working in their garages or their kitchens will come up with a novel application or a solution to a problem that professionals just haven't gotten around to," he adds.