Articles on Gene editing

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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.
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.
Gene drives aim to deliberately spread bad genes when invasive species such as mice reproduce. Colin Robert Varndell/shutterstock.com

‘Gene drives’ could wipe out whole populations of pests in one fell swoop

Releasing just 100 mice carrying a faulty gene designed to stop them reproducing can remove an entire population of 50,000, a new study shows, paving the way for new eradication efforts.
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.
Laboratory mice are among the first animals to have their diseases treated by CRISPR. tiburi via Pixabay.com

CRISPR controversy raises questions about gene-editing technique

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.

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