Gene therapy entered a new era with CRISPR gene-editing technology. In a short period of eight years, CRISPR revolutionized how we handle genes by simplifying and democratizing the tools for gene editing. CRISPR applications in human health are exponentially growing and opening new horizons for otherwise difficult diseases to treat. Nonetheless, the versatility, easiness, and wide use of this technology in humans are creating new bioethical challenges. Here, aiming to non-experts, students, and researchers, I briefy review some relevant aspects of CRISPR history and evolution, as well as some ethical concerns related to its use in humans. To pretend to do a comprehensive review on CRISPR is a futile task since the speed of its evolution would render it obsolete by the time of its publication.
José Luis Ramírez Ochoa
Dr. Ramírez received his BSc degree as a biologist at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Central de Venezuela, and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular biology at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, US. In his career as a Professor of Genetics and Microbiology (1969-1994), he was the founder and Director of the Graduate Studies in Cell Biology, Facultad de Ciencias, UCV. Between 1994 to 1997 was, a Visiting researcher and Visiting Professor, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and Pathobiology at the University of Washington, Seattle, US, and since 1997, a full professor at the Center of Biotechnology Fundación Instituto de Estudios Avanzados (IDEA). From 2000 to 2017 was the Coordinator of the United Nations University Biotechnology Program for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU-BIOLAC). 2000-2017. Among the many awards and distinctions Dr. Ramirez received the National Prize of Science and Technology of Venezuela in 2005, and the Order Jose Maria Vargas from UCV in its first class in 2000. Ramirez is a Member of the Latino American Academy of Sciences (ACAL). Ramirez´s Research interests are in Trypanosomatids molecular biology and Human Genetics, and participated in many national and international Scientific Meetings, and is the author of more than 140 scientific works. Besides, Ramirez has been a Biotechnology advisor for several companies and institutions around the world.