Articles on Gene editing

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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

Rogue science strikes again: The case of the first gene-edited babies

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

The road to enhancement, via human gene editing, is paved with good intentions

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?
Synthetic biology has the potential to change how we do agriculture – but will the public accept it? from www.shutterstock.com

A fresh opportunity to get regulation and engagement right – the case of synthetic biology

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. mycteria/Shutterstock.com

Genetically modified mosquitoes may be best weapon for curbing disease transmission

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. Neamov/Shutterstock.com

Funding basic research plays the long game for future payoffs

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.
A standee of the movie ‘Rampage’ at a theater in Bangkok, Thailand. Scientists in the film used CRISPR to create a monster. By Sarunyu L/shutterstock.com

Here’s what we know about CRISPR safety – and reports of ‘genome vandalism’

CRISPR has been hailed as the an editing tool that can delete inherited mutations and cure disease. But recent papers suggest that the technique may be too dangerous for use in human therapies.
Scientists discovered some bacteria can cut the DNA of invading viruses as a defence mechanism. They realised they could use this to cut human DNA.

What is CRISPR gene editing, and how does it work?

CRISPR harnesses the natural defence mechanisms of some bacteria to cut human DNA strands. Then the DNA strand either heals itself or we inject new DNA to mend the gap. This is gene editing.

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