Articles on CRISPR

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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.
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. (Shutterstock)

STEAM not STEM: Why scientists need arts training

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.
Can technology be tamed? Or have we already lost complete control? Tom Simpson

What can be done about our modern-day Frankensteins?

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. (Shutterstock)

Why can’t Canada win another Nobel Prize in medicine?

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.
Scientists are using a powerful gene editing technique to understand how human embryos develop. shutterstock

Genome editing of human embryos broadens ethics discussions

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?
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. gopixa/Shutterstock.com

Will whoever controls gene editing control historical memory?

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.
Controversial gene editing should not proceed without citizen input and societal consensus. (Shutterstock)

Human genome editing: We should all have a say

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.
Tom/Flickr

When evolution and biotechnologies collide

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?

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