The Future of Food—CRISPR Crops That Capture Carbon

There is a push to use CRISPR to make agricultural technologies that pull carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air and store it better in the soil. With the help of CRISPR technology, scientists are making gene edited plant varieties that are better at storing carbon and don’t have the traits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are made with transgenes.

Many research projects have sprung up to enhance biological carbon sequestration and thereby help restore balance to the carbon cycle and prevent further buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. For example, carbon sequestration research is being conducted at the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), an organization founded by Nobel laureate Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD. In June 2022, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative gave $11 million to the IGI to help scientists find ways to protect or heal the ecosystem from harm caused by humans.