Skip to Content
Biotechnology and health

The US government wants to speed gene-editing therapies to patients

January 24, 2018

The National Institutes of Health wants to help researchers cure inherited diseases using genome-editing technology.

New funding: The US biomedical research agency says it is dedicating $190 million over the next six years to researchers conducting gene-editing experiments, such as those with the powerful CRISPR technique.

The background: As the US moves closer to using CRISPR in humans, NIH is making special funds available as a way to “dramatically accelerate the translation of these technologies to the clinic for treatment of as many genetic diseases as possible,” says director Francis Collins.

No designer babies: NIH is only accepting proposals for studies that involve making edits to human somatic cells, the nonreproductive cells of the body. By law, the agency is forbidden from funding research that involves modifying embryos, which would result in edited DNA being passed down to the next generation.

Deep Dive

Biotechnology and health

What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines

New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.

A biotech company says it put dopamine-making cells into people’s brains

The experiment to treat Parkinson’s is a critical early test of stem cells’ potential to tackle serious disease.

Tiny faux organs could crack the mystery of menstruation

Researchers are using organoids to unlock one of the human body’s most mysterious—and miraculous—processes.

How AI can help us understand how cells work—and help cure diseases

A virtual cell modeling system, powered by AI, will lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of diseases, argue the cofounders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.