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.
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.
From biotech to climate change, advances in technology raise significant moral questions. To engage responsibly, our next generation of scientists need training in the arts and ethics.
Universities must train scientists to engage with the ethics of emerging technologies, rather than functioning as cogs in the engine of economic development. Integrating the arts into STEM can help.
AML under the microscope.
Medtech THAI STUDIO LAB 249
Improvements in survival rates for acute myeloid leukaemia have failed to keep pace with other leukaemias. That may be about to change.
Can technology be tamed? Or have we already lost complete control?
Much like the fictitious Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel, more and more scientists are running away from their real-life creations.
Only one Canadian researcher has ever received the Nobel Prize for medicine, for the discovery of insulin in 1923. And yet Canadians have been essential to developments in stem cell research, gene sequencing and treatments for cancer and brain trauma.
Only one Canadian has ever received the Nobel Prize for medicine, in 1923. But Canadian discoveries have been essential to stem cell research, gene sequencing and treatments for cancer.
Delivering genetic material is a key challenge in gene therapy.
Invitation image created by Kstudio
One big challenge for gene therapies is delivering DNA or RNA safely to cells inside patients' bodies. New nanoparticles could be an improvement over the current standard – repurposed viruses.
Scientists are using a powerful gene editing technique to understand how human embryos develop.
A new gene editing experiment explores human development. With this comes new ethical questions: How do scientists acquire embryos and how are their projects approved?
Altering the genomes of embryonic cells is illegal in Australia.
A landmark study in the UK discovered the gene that allows cells to form into embryos. If Australian researchers attempted this they could go to jail for 15 years.
Oregon National Guard/Flickr
With rapid advances in gene editing, states signed up to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention need to do more to prevent CRISPR from becoming a dangerous weapon.
Harvard’s recent CRISPR experiment isn’t just a new frontier for science – it’s also a new take on how we conceive of human history.
The CRISPR gene-editing technique raises new questions about how we measure time and conceptualise history. Here, a cultural theorist takes on the philosophical side of this scientific breakthrough.
With all these ‘test-tube babies’ grown up, how have our reactions to the technology evolved?
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Americans have moved on from worrying about ‘test-tube babies’ – but there are still ethical challenges to resolve as reproductive technologies continue to advance.
Just because we can edit genes in human embryos, should we?
A world first study shows CRISPR can remove a target gene from early stage human embryos. But with the advance in science come weighty ethical dilemmas.
Controversial gene editing should not proceed without citizen input and societal consensus.
A team in the U.S. is said to have safely and effectively altered human embryos. The news is a reminder that citizens must be consulted on developments potentially affecting the future of the species.
There’s still a way to go from editing single-cell embryos to a full-term ‘designer baby.’
The news may have come as a surprise, but it probably shouldn't have. A bioethics expert walks through how big a deal this announcement is – and what we should be considering now.
Simple and inexpensive gene-editing technology such as CRISPR has made the creation of genetically modified organisms much easier. But could nature still keep the upper hand?
Are research nonprofits holding up their end of the tax-exempt bargain?
Holding patents can be a lucrative and powerful position to be in. Here's a proposal for how nonprofit patent holders can do more for the common good – and live up to their end of the tax break bargain.
Editing DNA has the potential to treat disease by repairing or removing defective genes.
William Isdale speaks with University of Queensland Professor Peter Koopman about CRISPR technology.
Laboratory mice are among the first animals to have their diseases treated by CRISPR.
tiburi via Pixabay.com
A new research paper reports dangerous side effects in CRISPR-edited mice. Some scientists are pushing back, placing blame for the unwanted mutations on the experiment, not the technique.
Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications.
Researchers are starting to harness the potential of this much-hyped gene editing technique – with coming applications in medicine, biology and agriculture.
Human genome editing raises a lot of questions.
Gene sequence image via www.shutterstock.com.
A new report from the National Academies of Science and Medicine outlines conditions that have to be met before gene editing that results in heritable genomic changes can be considered.