Gene-Editing Finds Plant Science, Human Health Applications

Posted By Frank Vinluan

Gene editing has emerged as one of the most promising life science technologies, finding applications in human health and plant sciences. Durham company Precision BioSciences has developed its own gene-editing technology, which uses a protein to make precise cuts in a gene to fix a problem, such as a genetic disease. The technology can also add a desired trait, such as the color of a flower. John Salmeron, director of plant sciences at Precision Bio, explained that interest in this technology is growing as companies are turning to genetic tools that can help improve crops and cure disease.

Precision Bio doesn’t develop its own products, instead developing gene-editing tools for partners who use that technology to bring their own products to market. Precision Bio then receives royalties on sales of those products. Salmeron said that this gene-editing technology can bring products to market in half the time at more than half the cost of genetically modified organisms, technology that inserts foreign DNA into the genome.

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