E How CRISPR Technology May Save Your Life

When I was a DNA scientist at UCLA 45 years ago, the team used to slack off whenever our professor was attending an out of town conference. We used to take pure 200 proof ethanol the university kept on hand “for research purposes,” used it to bring our beer up to 100 proof, and then speculate about the future of our obscure, neglected field.

With the technology at hand, we predicted it would take 3,000 years to fully decode the 3 billion base pairs of a length of human DNA. It then might take another 1,000 years to manipulate our genes to accomplish something useful, like curing cancer. Maybe it was our “enhanced” beer talking, but we were off on our bold forecast by only 2,970 years. Dr. Craig Venter published a map of his own DNA in 2001 using sophisticated algorithms to vastly accelerate our own snail like progress.

The second step, that of functional genetic engineering, took only another decade instead of a millennium. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR). Memorize this term, write it in your diary, and put it on a post it note on your computer. It may save your life some day, if not add decades to it.

And it could also make you a multimillionaire, if you play your cards right. More on that below. And I count myself on becoming one of its fortunate users, once the technology goes retail, which should be soon. If you are another DNA scientist, all I need to tell you is that CRISPR are used to manipulate segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short repetitions of base sequences. Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to a bacteriophage virus or plasmids. The protein fragments that identify and snip these crucial gene segments are called CRISPRs.

If you are more interested in trading than genetics, which most of my subscribers are, suffice it to say that CRISPR technology is being developed that will enable you to edit your own DNA on a customized basis and then pass the changes on to your progeny. This will eventually allow you to become immune to all diseases, increase your intelligence, and possibly live forever. Just cut out a bad gene and put in a new one and you, and all your future descendants are fixed for good. You only have to make it five or ten more years at the most with your current vintage DNA, and you can easily live another century. Oh, and by the way, the company that successfully brings CRISPR products to market in an economical, cost effective  way should see it's stock price rise tenfold, if not a hundredfold.

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