The CRISPR/Cas9 discovery has emerged as a powerful technology tool to edit genomes, which allows researchers, innovators and life science entrepreneurs to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function in a range of species. The simplicity, high efficiency and seemingly broad use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system has led to hopes that this disruptive technology may have the potential to transform important sectors of biotechnology and medicine. The technology will enable users to make changes in the sequence or expression of virtually any gene, cell type or organism. The rapid progress in the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based technologies over the past years has been extraordinary. In spite of that, many outstanding questions remain to be addressed, and potentially interesting applications as well as potential risks yet need to be explored. Without doubt, the rapid advances and extensive commercial applicability of the CRISPR technologies is likely to a have a societal impact within the decades to come. In medicine, recent and future advances in the
applicability of Cas9-based systems for genome and epigenome editing are likely to advance the technology forward to therapeutic applications, in respect to treatment of a variety of human diseases. In biotechnology, these techniques may be exploited in several respects to the benefit of society at large. In the biosciences, the CRISPR technology may have significant applications to make changes in the genome of various forms of organisms, including cells of domestic animals, cells of plants and various crops, bacteria, viruses and other cells. The technology may also find a future use in “de-extinction” of various animals such as the woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon. The recent discoveries and developments have led to extensive patenting efforts, resulting in some major patent disputes. The extensive patenting may risk creating a scenario, which could hamper the further development of this technology and ultimately limit full value creation of this technology for major societal and industrial stakeholders.