Programming Evolution: A Crack in Science

Giuseppe Longo
Nobel Prize winner, Jennifer Doudna, and Samuel Sternberg survey recent advances in a pioneering area of molecular biology. In an accessible and elegant style, the authors present the successes and challenges of a new DNA-modifying technique: CRISPR. They transmit their emotions of discovery, passion for research, and intellectual audacity. While greatly admiring the technical skills of the authors, who are among the best researchers in the field, this review critically stresses the limits of
more » ... eir experimental practices, namely: a vague or incomplete theoretical frame; often unreachable genetic targets; off-target effects; prior failures to deliver by other forms of genetic manipulation, and, finally, the intrinsic unpredictability of many phenotypic consequences of such a powerful technique. Due to these concerns, the authors' approach to organisms and Evolution is questioned with the purpose to generate an open debate.
doi:10.13133/2532-5876/17538 fatcat:k6e5v72g4rdf3one7zmqgeicjy