Can’t sleep: these cloned macaque monkeys are missing a gene involved in regulating the sleep/wake cycle.
Chinese Academy of Sciences via AAP
Researchers in China have produce a world first: gene edited, cloned macaque monkeys. They say such animals will be vital for research on human health – but ethical concerns remain.
China recently became the first country to land on the far side of the moon.
A pragmatic approach rather than active concealment is to blame for China's lack of research transparency.
Genetically engineered mice are invaluable for learning about human disease.
When geneticists create mice with special traits, there is no way to be sure that they will be inherited by the offspring. But a new genetic tool called a gene drive may fix the problem.
Ash tree killed by the invasive emerald ash borer.
K Steve Cope
Forests in the US face many threats: climate change, invasive species, pests and pathogens. Could genetically engineering trees make these plants more resilient?
Anopheles stephensi mosquito bites a human to get a blood meal through its pointed proboscis. A droplet of blood is expelled from the abdomen after having engorged itself.
Jim Gathany/Wikimedia Commons
Researchers are exploring genetic forms of population control called gene drives that spread traits faster that happens naturally. The goal is to curb mosquito-borne diseases like malaria.
Megacity Shenzhen, as seen from Hong Kong, is a center for Chinese finance and tech.
AP Photo/Kin Cheung
CRISPR babies may be just the beginning. China has a different take than the West on ethics and how to get ahead in business and other endeavors.
Editing just one gene in an embryo could create many unanticipated side-effects once the baby is born.
Genome editing technology has, and will always have, limits. Limits that are related not to the technology itself but to the intrinsic complexity of the human genome.
Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses.
Gene editing through CRISPR may have greater consequences than climate change or unleashing the energy of the atom.
China’s military may bear the brunt of hits to the country’s scientific reputation.
Roman Pilipey/Pool Photo via AP
In an era of big scientific collaborations, China's renegade actions have hurt its reputation. As international researchers back away, it may be the country's military that ultimately suffers.
What does oversight really ensure?
Questions abound about whether the scientist who created the first gene edited human beings took shortcuts in the ethical oversight process. But pedantically focusing on protocol misses the point.
Any children born of genome editing are genetic mosaics with uncertain resistance to disease.
Chinese researcher, Jainkui He claims to have created the world's first genome-edited twins. Such action would pose unknown risks to the lives of these children and to humanity as a whole.
Chinese scientists led by He Jiankui claimed they used CRISPR to modify human embryos that eventually were born as twin girls.
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
The announcement of the birth of babies with edited genes has been met by a deluge of scientific and ethical criticism. Public discussion focuses on risks and benefits – was breaking this taboo worth it?
A Chinese scientist claims he edited the DNA of twin girls during an in vitro fertilization procedure.
CI Photos / Shutterstock.com
A Chinese scientist has revealed he edited the DNA of twin girls born through in vitro fertilization. These girls are designed to be resistant to HIV. Is the edit a medical necessity or an enhancement?
Chinese scientist He Jiankui of Shenzhen claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies.
We don't know anything about the health of the baby girls who are reported to have been born. But it's clear scientists around the world are shocked.
A Chinese scientist claims to have edited human DNA to make us more resistant to HIV. Here's why that's not good news.
The tomatoes we eat have been carefully bred over generations, but now we can tap into wild varieties.
Gene editing of wild plants can help us tap into new sources of food. But we need to make sure it's safe – and that demands some careful regulation.
Determining the structure of the DNA was the beginning of the gene therapy journey.
Once genetic lesions for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and haemophilia were identified, the idea of replacing or correcting defective genes grew into what we now call "gene therapy".
Synthetic biology has the potential to change how we do agriculture – but will the public accept it?
Synthetic biology is highly promising – but if we don't get the regulation and engagement right, we risk alienating members of the public, and may even close doors for potentially fruitful research.
More than 3.9 billion people live in regions where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is present. This species transmits Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
For several billion people mosquitoes are more than a nuisance -- they transmit deadly diseases. Now genetic modification may prove the most effective defense against the mosquito, preventing disease.
It takes time to see which finding might be a golden egg.
Basic research can be easy to mock as pointless and wasteful of resources. But it's very often the foundation for future innovation – even in ways the original scientists couldn't have imagined.