Can CRISPR Feed the World?

Can CRISPR Feed the World?
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File

As the world's population rises, scientists want to edit the genes of potatoes and wheat to help them fight plant diseases that cause famine.

By 2040, there will be 9 billion people in the world. "That's like adding another China onto today's global population," said Professor Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK.

Prof. Kamoun is one of a growing number of food scientists trying to figure out how to feed the world. As an expert in plant pathogens such as Phytophthora infestans – the fungus-like microbe responsible for potato blight – he wants to make crops more resistant to disease.


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