On a warm September afternoon on the verdant campus of Long Island's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an elite cadre of scientists gathered to discuss a simple yet incredibly powerful new genetic technology.
Jennifer Doudna was dressed casually in a blazer and jeans, with a scarf tossed gently around her neck to compliment a loose bob of blonde hair. Raised in Hilo, Hawaii, she retains a hint of the friendly islander vibe, even though she's been recently thrust into the scientific spotlight.
A biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, Doudna is widely credited as one of the pioneers of a genetic technology that lets scientists tweak the DNA of practically any living creature.
Known as CRISPR/Cas9, the technique has been credited with the potential to cure genetic defects, eradicate diseases, and even end the organ transplant shortage.