CRISPR

CRISPR used to treat first U.S. patient with genetic disorder

A researcher performs a CRISPR/Cas9 process
Photo: Gregor Fischer/picture alliance/Getty Images

Doctors are using CRISPR to treat a woman with sickle cell disease, the first U.S. patient with a genetic disorder to receive such treatment, NPR reports.

The big picture: Advances in gene editing technology have given new hope to people with diseases that not long ago seemed untreatable.

Genetic technology's double-edged sword

Illustration of breaking pencil erasing gene sequence
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As gene-altering technologies become more accessible, there's also a growing risk that they'll be dangerously misused or abused.

Why it matters: "You're talking about manipulating DNA to create a designer pathogen. That’s a terrorist threat," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told me.