DEAR DOCTOR K: My son said he learned in school about a powerful new technique for editing genes that could possibly cure diseases. It also sounds a little scary. Can you tell me more?
DEAR READER: Your son probably is talking about a technique called CRISPR. This technique already is having a great impact on biological research, and it may someday help cure some human diseases. Many diseases are caused by defects in how genes are built. This, in turn, can cause a defect in how the protein made by the gene is built.