Stanley Qi is a bioengineer who attended Stanford University and worked on the CRISPR enzyme for most of his graduate years. CRISPR is composed of RNA and guides the DNA cutting enzyme known as Cas9. What Qi did was make Cas9 unable to cut DNA, making it dead (dCas9). Attaching enzymes or other structures allowed scientists to use dCas9 as a gene regulator. Qi hopes to use this invention to cure genetic diseases. Qi has also developed versions of the Cas9 gene that can move around large chunks of the DNA genome. He says this can be used particularly in studying cancers. It can also be used to study how stem cells mature.
I think this is an important discovery in bioengineering because its applications can be limitless. Right now, scientists are figuring out practical uses for this technology. They say that it can be used to cure genetic diseases and learn more about cancer and stem cells. I feel this tech is a cornerstone in human development. There are so many people with genetic diseases that are incurable. With this technology, those people might finally get a cure. In addition, with extensive cancer understanding, the survival rate of cancers might skyrocket or we might even find a cure. The possibilities really are endless.