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Nobel laureate, CRISPR developer named to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

August 19, 2021

» Continue to this story on Vatican Press Office

CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has named Jennifer A. Doudna, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Established in 1936, the academy is an advisory body whose members include non-Catholics.

Doudna’s appointment follows that of Emmanuelle Charpentier; together, they developed the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. “Any application of this technique must be carefully evaluated with regard to the method used and with consideration of the scientific as well as the social consequences,” the Pontifical Academy for Life states. “Given the urgency and centrality of these issues in relation to human life, the Pontifical Academy for Life has launched a study section on human genome editing in order to promote constant supervision and evaluation of these techniques.”

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