It is considered one of the most important new developments in modern biology and has the potential to change the world dramatically - the CRISPR/Cas gene scissors. This molecular biology process can be used to specifically edit the genetic material of microorganisms, plants, animals and even humans.
CRISPR opens up completely new possibilities, particularly in medicine and biotechnology, as demonstrated by the first market approvals worldwide for the CRISPR/Cas-based therapy "Casgevy" in the UK and the USA.
In the future, genetic scissors could be used to alleviate or even cure hereditary and infectious diseases and cancer, increase the resistance of plants to drought, pests and diseases, reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides and maximize crop yields for a growing world population.
However, there are also many risk scenarios that could arise from the misuse of CRISPR/Cas technology, driven for example by unscrupulous "rogue states" (such as North Korea, Iran or Syria), but also by ambitious researchers or self-proclaimed "gene designers". Risk scenarios range from bioterrorism through viruses and substances that are bred for specific individuals or groups, to potentially pandemic viruses that are released intentionally (or unintentionally), to CRISPR/Cas-based neuroweapons and designer organisms for military use.
The FERI Cognitive Finance Institute analyzes the complex interrelationships in a Cognitive Briefing, which is available in German in the download area of this page.