DNA repair mechanisms are crucial to our existence. Without them, we would not survive because of DNA damage caused by the environment (e.g UV light damage, radiation etc.). This crucial research into discovery of three DNA repair mechanisms was led by Thomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar who jointly received this years Nobel Prize in Chemistry (by the way, what is up with the Nobel Foundation‘s categories? Why is a DNA repair mechanism categorised in Chemistry?).
Even if CRISPR was in the short-list to win the prize, this trio’s DNA repairing mechanisms were awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry (which if we’re honest at Labiotech, did not see coming at all…).
Arguably, one possible reason for this is that Lindahl & co.’s discovery is over 30 years old, whilst the gene-editing system CRISPR/Cas9 was only published in 2012. CRISPR is currently occupied in an intense patent war, which may end soon with the discovery of a replacement protein to Cas9,