In celebration of the Lab’s 90th anniversary, 16 of our most popular “90 Breakthroughs” faced off in the first ever Berkeley Lab Breakthroughs Bracket Challenge on Twitter. After four weeks of public voting online, the top breakthrough was “Created a Powerful Gene Editing Tool”—otherwise known as CRISPR!
A precise and efficient method for editing genes, CRISPR was co-developed by Jennifer Doudna, a UC Berkeley professor and faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. This achievement was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize and is the basis for many promising medical technologies, including tools to diagnose and treat infections, and has many applications for the development of improved crops, biofuels, and bioproducts.
The Biosciences Area had a good showing in general, with five breakthroughs in the Sweet 16, three advancing to the Elite 8, and “Pioneered Medical Imaging” joining CRISPR in the Final 4.
The competition took place over four weeks, with the final match set taking place between a new, eco-friendly plastic and CRISPR. The winner was announced via Twitter on August 26.