This ground-breaking technology breakthrough, sometimes referred to as "the genetic scissor", has initiated a new era in molecular biology by enabling efficient and reliable ways to make precise, targeted changes to the genes or genomes of living cells. Insertion or deletions of gene fragments can be performed in a very controlled manner at a predefined nucleotide position, to thereby add or delete novel traits.
The seminar intends to display the width of the application for the technology by having speakers covering vastly different topics, including medical applications for next-generation treatment regimens, production of high-energy compounds from genome-edited microorganisms and the generation of genome-edited crops for future food production.
The seminar will be moderated by Jennifer Kahn
Jennifer Kahn, Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine, 2015 Visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism, Princeton University. Currently teaching at the University of California, Berkeley.
"How CRISPR-Cas9 is changing the world"
Jennifer Kahn's TED talk 2016 on the CRISPR-technology has been viewed more than 1.4 million times
Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier, Founding and Acting Director, Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin.
"CRISPR-Cas9: How a bacterial immune system revolutionizes genome editing and engineering in life sciences"
Initially described as a bacterial immune system, the understanding of the CRISPR-Cas9 mechanism led to its development as powerful and versatile RNA programmable molecular scissors that can modify DNA and its expression in multiple ways in cells and organisms. Emmanuelle will discuss the individual steps of research that ultimately led to the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology and will present some relevant applications of the technology in life science research, biomedicine and biotechnology.
Prof. Stefan Jansson, Umeå Plant Science Center, Umeå University
"Genome editing in plants using CRISPR/Cas9 and the European GMO legislation"
CRISPR-Cas9 can also be used to create new plant varieties with improved properties, but will they fall under the legal definition of a genetically modified organism (GMO) or not? This is of crucial importance, as the regulatory burden on GMOs means in reality that they cannot be used but if they will be considered not a GMO they would not be regulated. Authorities throughout the world are struggling with this issue and the European Court of Justice have recently said they all should be regarded as a GMO, but e g USA, Australia and Japan has come to a contrasting conclusion. What will this mean for agriculture?
Assoc. Prof. Paul Hudson, Research Fellow, Science for Life Lab, Stockholm
"Direct production of biofuels from CO2 and light; can CRISPR/Cas9 make it feasible?"
Paul’s research strategy combines simulations of metabolism and genome editing of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to produce biofuels and other chemicals from only carbon dioxide and sunlight. This research aims to contribute to the future of fuel production.
Stefan Ståhl, Chairman, Division X och Lena Gustafsson, Vice Chairman, Division X