Nathaniel Comfort suggests that the purpose of our book A Crack in Creation is to show that I am “the true hero of CRISPR” (Nature 546, 30–31; 2017). On the contrary, the book offers my personal reflections as CRISPR–Cas gene editing took off, viewed from the perspective of my research team at the University of California, Berkeley.
My aim in writing this book with my former student Sam Sternberg was to demonstrate the importance of basic research and the value of collaboration in developing this groundbreaking technology. It describes the crucial scientific contributions and insights of our collaborators Emmanuelle Charpentier and her student Krzysztof Chylinski, for example.
The success of our approach has now been abundantly confirmed by the rapid application of CRISPR–Cas gene editing in virtually all types of cells and settings.