The past decade has seen an explosion of media stories about new discoveries in biology and how those might lead to innovations that could help humanity deal with some of the mounting challenges we face. As Val Giddings writes in Open Access Government, no discovery has been greeted with more excitement and coverage than gene editing.
With gene editing, we now can tweak just about any organism in simple but fundamental ways to deliver a broad array of previously unimaginable changes. The technology is already being harnessed to do everything from curing cancers to improving the efficiency of photosynthesis in ways that promise to supplant petroleum chemistry and address the myriad challenges of climate change. The major limitation on what gene editing might accomplish would seem to be the power of human imagination.