The world is facing a massive dilemma. In order to feed the massive predicted population of 2050, agricultural output will need to increase by 70%. Scientists are addressing this issue through genetic modification technologies.
The CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a method for genetic modification that is currently being utilized. This system is modeled after a naturally occurring process in bacteria. In simple terms, this technique involves synthesizing a certain specific RNA strand that will bind to the targeted DNA section. This RNA serves as an indication for a certain enzyme, the Cas9 enzyme, to come along and cut off this part of the DNA strand. This loose DNA is then transferred to different organisms involved in the modification.
This technology is growing in popularity because it is relatively inexpensive to do. By the year 2025, Citi GPS predicts that CRISPR will be a $10 billion market. What is more important is that CRISPR allows scientists to create higher yielding and more nutritious crops, which is extremely crucial to feeding the global population.