Genomics And Epigenetics (Crispr and Gene Editing)
$1 MILLION (Prize amount to be confirmed. Announcement expected for next year)
CRISPR gene editing is a genetic engineering technique in molecular biology by which the genomes of living organisms may be modified. It is based on a simplified version of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 antiviral defense system. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell’s genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added in vivo (in living organisms).
The technique is considered highly significant in biotechnology and medicine as it allows for the genomes to be edited in vivo with extremely high precision, cheaply and with ease. It can be used in the creation of new medicines, agricultural products, and genetically modified organisms, or as a means of controlling pathogens and pests. It also has possibilities in the treatment of inherited genetic diseases as well as diseases arising from somatic mutations such as cancer. However, its use in human germline genetic modification is highly controversial.