CRISPR Ahead Q&A Picture Tour❗️

What is CRISPR?

CRISPR is a molecular tool that is revolutionizing the biological sciences because it can edit the DNA of any living thing! Changing the DNA of any living thing changes its proteins. Altering its proteins alters its traits, which include every quality that makes a living thing what it is.

What is CRISPR Ahead Q&A Tour?

CRISPR Ahead Q&A Picture Tour is a unique and entertaining illustrated guide that shows-&-tells the whole CRISPR story. It will pique the interests of anybody interested in better understanding CRISPR—its underlying science, profoundly far-reaching uses, and the thorny issues surrounding it.

The Tour features over 200 original, playful illustrations designed to educate, illuminate, captivate, inspire, and amuse creative minds.

The full-color illustrations model the integration of Arts (A) with the STEM subjects, (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics), now referred to as the STEAM educational approach.

Recommended for ages 14-114—definitely not a young kid’s picture book!



CRISPR Ahead Picture Tour Book

The CRISPR Ahead Q&A Tour examines

  • Beneficial uses of CRISPR
  • Influences of science subculture and world culture on CRISPR uses
  • Responsibilities, social and ethical issues related to CRISPR uses
  • How to use pictures to boost learning, critical thinking, and creativity
  • Opportunities for laypersons to become Citizen Scientists who work with emerging CRISPR technologies.

So, come aboard, enjoy the tour. Get ready for a world-rocking experience!

Is the Tour for you? YES, if you are or aspire to be a:

  • Person curious about science that will affect the world, as you know it and your descendants will receive it
  • Educator (including Parents, Grandparents et al.)
  • Science Student and Scientist
  • Arts Practitioner seeking inspiration
  • Healthcare Professional
  • Politician
  • Law Enforcement / Legal Professional
  • Agriculture Professional
  • Environmental/Ecology Professional
  • Informed Citizen

Your CRISPR Ahead Tour Guides

Hello, I’m CRISPR!

CRISPR is an acronym for “Clustered Regularly Inter-spaced Short Palindromic Repeats.”

I’m featured on this Tour because of my ability to change the DNA of any organism on Earth—including humans! My editing skills can change plants and animals; cure and prevent diseases, and—most controversially—“upgrade” your traits and those of your unborn descendants.

All that, and I can do it precisely, cheaply, and so easily that you can use me to do simple DNA edits at home!

Here, I’m depicted as a person, made female in honor of the two women who launched me as a genome editor.



Hello, I’m Whatif Scicoon.

It’s in my DNA to be smart, curious, bold, irreverent, relentless—and, I like to think, adorable too! Those traits suit me to point the way ahead.

My four types of communications—Question, Problem What If, Solution What If, and Message.

Hello, I’m Doc Dorotheanna, your Tour Guide.

I’m a chemist, psychologist, and creator of the DNA Ahead Board Game™.

The voice throughout is mine, except when Teammate Whatif Scicoon delivers his lead-in prompts or CRISPR speaks up from within her selfies.

Together we show and tell the whole CRISPR story in a Q & A style.

Visit CRISPR Ahead Island!

Filled with information and fun illustrations to pique the interests of smart teens and curious seniors. The tour narrative takes you through these lab locations and portals as seen on the CRISPR Ahead ISLAND map, where we explore the many uses, aspects, challenges, and possibilities of CRISPR.


The Five CRISPR Labs on CRISPR Ahead Island

CRISPR Science Lab (aka Sci Lab)

CRISPR constantly undergoes upgrades and extensions of her skill set, plays a key role in basic genome studies, and participates in training her Storytellers.

DNA Repairs (& Upgrades) Mall

Workers use CRISPR to develop cures for genetic diseases in humans and animals and perform some animal upgrades.

Pest Control Corps

Workers use CRISPR in potential strategies to control creatures that cause diseases or harm the ecosystem.

Extinction Prevention & Returns Center

Workers use CRISPR to edit genomes of endangered species so as to favor their survival and even try to de-extinct species already gone.

Super Seedy Greenhouse & Bioreactor

Workers use CRISPR to: upgrade plants and customize microbes; improve crop survival, yields, and quality; and create other non-food products for specific purposes.

Beyond Lab & Clinic: The Indispensables

Success in CRISPR missions depends on decisions by gatekeepers at three powerful Island locations: Funds Dispensary; Publications, Patents, & Regulations Bureau; and Public Opinion Well. Persons at these locations make the decisions that make or break scientists’ careers.

Funds Dispensary

Today in science, success is measured by grant money won, number of studies published and cited, and ability to spin findings to appeal to funds grantors.

The more money you win, the more research you can do, the more papers you publish (and hopefully get cited), the more money you win! To grow your reputation, you must keep repeating the cycle.

Publications & Patents

The watchword of the science world is “Publish or Perish.” Publishing requires winning over the gatekeepers for the journal where the scientist submits their paper. Ideally, publication is in a prestige journal—e.g., Science Magazine, Nature; in any case, the entry barrier that must be surmounted is peer review.

Social media provides a platform for grumbling, parody, and harsh criticism of the peer review process—e.g., since 2014, tweets at #sixwordpeerreview. Peer reviewers (aka referees) read papers submitted to a journal to assess whether they should be accepted as is, modified and resubmitted, or rejected as flawed. Ideally, the referees are unbiased experts in the field represented by the submitted paper.

Public Opinion

Finally, there is public opinion, which will have a major say about what products CRISPR makes AND their fates.

In the long run, public opinion will determine—or, at least, strongly influencewhat products CRISPR makes. It determines the elected representatives who decide on much of CRISPR funding. It weighs in on regulatory decisions. It accepts or rejects the end products of CRISPR’s best efforts.

Overall, public opinion permeates the culture in which science thrives or withers.

Critics Cavern

Some CRISPR criticisms confront real technical problems or express ethical concerns in an unbiased manner. Others serve as vehicles for anti-CRISPR or other oppositional attitudes not based on scientific evidence or impartial analysis.

Additional Resources:

[1] Meet CRISPR: (Article + 3 min Video)
“Simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade”
[2] Meet CRISPR (4 min Video)
“Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9” – YouTube
[3] CRISPR 3D Animation (3 min Video)
[4] CRISPR News, Events, Outreach
[5] CRISPR All-In-One from Meet to History to Lab (195 pages)
“CRISPR 101: A Desktop Resource”
[6] CRISPR Introductory Categories: (Some in Spanish)
The CRISPR web page—Lluís Montoliu (CNB-CSIC)
[7] CRISPR Education Outreach: (Current—Personal Genetics Education Project, includes lessons, events)
[8] CRISPR Article (June 2017 New Scientist)
“Boom in human gene editing as 20 CRISPR trials gear up”
[9] CRISPR Article (October 2017 Technology Review by Feng Zhang)
“CRISPR, the Future of Life Science Research But Still Much to Learn”
[10] CRISPR Article (December 2017 ScienceNews by Tina Hesman Saey)
“Parents may one day be morally obligated to edit their baby’s genes”
[11] CRISPR Article (April 2018 GenEngNews)

[12] Ace Game Designer Jamey Stegmaier writes extensively about all aspects of board game development at