David Liu (courtesy Broad Institute)

David Liu takes the wraps off $315M launch round for Prime Med­i­cine and new CRISPR tech that gave Bob Nelsen a 'holy crap' mo­ment

Ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Bob Nelsen was sit­ting on his couch two sum­mers ago when he got a call from a fa­mous sci­en­tist, who mat­ter-of-fact­ly ex­plained that he had de­vel­oped a po­ten­tial­ly ground­break­ing tech­nol­o­gy but that he couldn’t give any de­tails about how it worked.

David Liu, the Har­vard bi­ol­o­gist known for in­vent­ing “CRISPR 2.0,” told Nelsen that he and a post­doc had in­vent­ed what — though he didn’t use the term — could rea­son­ably be called CRISPR 3.0. The gene edit­ing tech­nol­o­gy could re­place any DNA base with any oth­er. It could delete bases or add them, he said, ef­fec­tive­ly turn­ing the hu­man genome in­to a word proces­sor. In the­o­ry, near­ly 90% of known path­o­gen­ic ge­net­ic vari­a­tions could be cor­rect­ed.

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