China Becoming CRISPR Superpower

China is seeing an explosion in CRISPR-based animal studies and embracing the gene-editing technology with unrivaled zest and zeal—so much so that China could soon outpace the U.S. in CRISPR-related research

As Jennifer Doudna, often credited as the inventor of CRISPR, put it to Science, “This is a country and a culture that really values science and technology. Their government has put very serious money into it, and they’re walking the walk.”

When it comes to CRISPR, there’s the US, China—and everybody else. A recent analysis shows the US still holds more CRISPR-related patent applications (872 versus China’s 858). For comparison, all of Europe has 186 patents. The same study shows US-based scientists have released 2,976 CRISPR-related scientific papers to their Chinese counterparts’ 2,059. Japan, in third place, has 228. In some areas, such as agriculture and industrial applications, China holds more patents and has published more papers than anyone else.

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