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Deeply Rooted: CRISPR crops and the future of food

A scientist holds a petri dish containing sprouting barley embryos that have received spliced genetic material derived through the CRISPR-Cas9 editing process in Gatersleben, Germany.
A scientist holds a petri dish containing sprouting barley embryos that have received spliced genetic material derived through the CRISPR-Cas9 editing process in Gatersleben, Germany.

What if you could enjoy seedless pomegranates or sweet, ripened strawberries all year round? What if a farmer could grow drought-resistant tomatoes?

We’re continuing our agriculture series with a look at the cutting edge of plant technology. It may sound like science fiction, but thanks to CRISPR technology scientists are able to edit the genes of fruits and vegetables to create ideal crops. 

CRISPR is a groundbreaking tool used to editgenomes and alter a DNA sequence. It’s already been used in clinical trials to treat diseases in humans and to alter mosquito DNA to reduce the spread of malaria.

The possibilities seem endless. But there are also many questions and concerns about CRISPR and agriculture that need addressing.

We look at the benefits and drawbacks of using this technology in food production in this episode of our series Deeply Rooted.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven