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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Gene therapy is growing in its capabilities, but there should be limits to its use.
A report released by the US National Academies of Science and Medicine underscores the potential of gene editing and acknowledges the sensitivities in managing the ethical dimensions.
Taking the deadly bit out of mosquitoes.
Flickr/Erik F Brandsborg
It's possible to alter the make-up of a species such as a mosquito's ability to pass on the deadly malaria parasite. But we need to consider the pros and cons of such gene editing technology.
Human oocyte in vitro fertilization.
Medical tourism for assisted reproductive technologies raises a host of legal and ethical questions.
CRISPR uses segments of bacterial DNA that can make targeted cuts in a genome when paired with a specific guide protein.
Controversy over a Chinese study that used CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology shows how the West still looks at the East through the lens of Orientalism.
Will China be the first to genetically enhance future generations?
Regulations, funding and public opinion around genetically enhancing future generations vary from country to country. Here's why China may be poised to be the pioneer.
A patent has far-reaching implications for future research.
U.C. Berkeley and the Broad Institute are fighting to control the patents on the revolutionary gene-editing technology. But there's a lot more at stake than just who gets the credit and licensing fees.
We’re talking about a lot of seeds.
Great Divide Photography
The concerns about genetically modified foods are well known. But when we look at population and climate projections, what happens if we don't use them to increase our food supply?
New research suggests how we could prevent genetically modified organisms from surviving - and potentially spreading - in the wild.
A snip here, but not a snip there?
DNA image via www.shutterstock.com
The International Summit on Human Gene Editing drew a distinction between editing an individual's body cells and editing germline cells that would pass changes to future generations. Does that make sense?