CRISPR is a revolutionary new epigenetic tool that scientists can use to edit genes. By making changes to the long list of letters created in the Human Genome Project and seeing what effect it has on cell growth or disease, molecular biologists can start to understand what the human genome means. An short piece of RNA guides an enzyme Cas9 to a specific place on the DNA and then cuts the strand.
Tools like CRISPR are allowing anyone to alter DNA – even amateurs. Who are they, and what are they up to? JV Chamary meets the biohackers...