Gene Editing from the Perspective of Spanish Law

In Jochen Taupitz & Silvia Deuring (eds.), Rechtliche Aspekte der Genom-Editierung an der Menschlichen Keimbahn : A Comparative Legal Study. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 389-411 (2020)


Gene editing is a particularly attractive subject in the Spanish context because it was precisely a scientist of this nationality -Professor Juan Francisco Martínez Mojica, at the University of Alicante-, who was the first to name and identify the function of this region of DNA present in some bacteria and archeas that acts as an immune mechanism against viruses and which has given rise to the gene editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9. Martínez Mojica discovered that some bacteria and archeas were able to identify and “cut” the DNA segments of the attacking viruses, incorporating them into their own genetic make-up. In this way they could recognize and degrade the specific DNA sequences of the virus against future attacks, a defense that could be inherited by the next generation of bacteria. It was this discovery that laid the foundations for the “genetic editing revolution”.

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