Science may be moving quickly enough that we are a mere five years away from being able to reverse aging. At least that’s what George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, told the Washington Post at an international summit on human gene editing taking place in Washington, DC.
His basis for this pretty wild prediction? As he told the Post, it's already happening with mice in the lab.
Using CRISPR, a recently developed gene-editing tool that is cheaper and more precise than previous methods, researchers are editing the mice's genetic code.
Of course, there are many obstacles to overcome before they can recreate the same affects in people (not to mention the moral dilemmas). When tested on 54 human embryos, only four exhibited the intended genetic changes. And yet the technology is rapidly advancing, allowing scientists to make increasingly targeted and nuanced alterations to the genetic code.
Even if scientists aren’t able to reverse aging in that narrow five year window, one thing is certain: CRISPR has completely changed the genetic engineering game.
We'll be hearing much, much more about its applications in both the near and distant future.