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Interview

The Ultimate Life Hacker

A Conversation With Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna

  • Country: United States
  • Title: Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Books: A Crack In Creation

At the age of 12, Jennifer Doudna read James Watson’s The Double Helix and got hooked on science in general and genetics in particular. Four decades later, she is a molecular biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. One of the discoverers of CRISPR, a powerful new technology for gene editing, Doudna tells the story of the current genetics revolution in her gripping new memoir, A Crack in Creation (written with Samuel Sternberg). She spoke with Foreign Affairs’ editor, Gideon Rose, in her office in Berkeley in February.

You’ve described CRISPR as a Swiss Army knife and said that it may cause a fundamental break in human history. How can a Swiss Army knife cause a break in human history?

Because it’s a disruptive technology. CRISPR is an efficient, effective

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