Jennifer Doudna, co-winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, discusses her work in science at the atomic scale.
Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have sought a simple, reliable, affordable way to change the genetic code. Jennifer Doudna, together with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Virginijus Šikšnys, won the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience for their invention of the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. This technique arose from research into how bacteria track down and destroy intruder DNA when infected by a virus. Now, scientists can reprogram the tool to disable or change almost any gene in order to research its function, heal an error, or add a helpful new trait.