background preloader

Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.

Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.
Any gene typically has just a 50–50 chance of getting passed on. Either the offspring gets a copy from Mom or a copy from Dad. But in 1957 biologists found exceptions to that rule, genes that literally manipulated cell division and forced themselves into a larger number of offspring than chance alone would have allowed. A decade ago, an evolutionary geneticist named Austin Burt proposed a sneaky way to use these “selfish genes.” He suggested tethering one to a separate gene—one that you wanted to propagate through an entire population. If it worked, you'd be able to drive the gene into every individual in a given area. Push those modifications through with a gene drive and the normal mosquitoes wouldn't stand a chance. Emmanuelle Charpentier did early work on Crispr. Kevin Esvelt, the evolutionary engineer who initiated the project, knows how serious this work is. Esvelt talked all this over with his adviser—Church, who also worked with Zhang. These problems don't end with mosquitoes.

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/crispr-dna-editing-2/

Related:  Narušení ekosystémů geneticky modifikovanými organismyHUMAN GUINEA PIGSGeneticsNew medical techniquesacademia

Opinion: Is CRISPR-based gene drive a biocontrol silver bullet or global conservation threat? Author Affiliations Scientists have recognized the potential for applying gene drive technologies to the control of invasive species for several years (1, 2), yet debate about the application of gene drive has been primarily restricted to mosquitoes (3). Recent developments in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 technology have restarted discussions of using gene drive for invasive species control (4). The implications are potentially remarkable: for the first time we may genuinely have a tool with the power to permanently eliminate a target species from the planet (Fig. 1). The question is no longer whether we can control invasive species using gene drive, but whether we should. Here we explore the implications of recent developments in CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive technology from a biosecurity perspective, through broad comparison with classical biological control (CBC).

Unwilling Guinea Pigs: Using Foster Care Children For Forced Drug Experiments This article was first published in Naturally Good Magazine, issue 1. In the summer of 2004, Liam Scheff, an independent investigative journalist published the story of Incarnation Children's Center in New York City, where experimental and highly toxic AIDS drugs were forcibly administered to foster children of the State. Originally published in the article, The House That AIDS Built, the story was subsequently carried by The New York Press with the title: Orphans on Trial.

Myles W. Jackson, "The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race" (MIT Press, 2015) Myles W. Jackson View on Amazon What happens when you allow human materials to become property? More specifically, how does granting monopoly rights over genetic material affect the potential for innovation and research on treatments of disease related to those genes? In his new book, The Genealogy of a Gene: Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race (MIT Press, 2015), Myles W.

Breakthrough method means CRISPR just got a lot more relevant to human health The gene-editing tool CRISPR may one day change the way humans approach medicine — or at least that’s how it’s been portrayed so far. But for all the talk of using CRISPR to eliminate disease, the method was never very good at doing one important thing: altering single letters of DNA. (DNA is made of four chemical units, represented by the letters A, T, G, and C.) Now, scientists at Harvard University say they've modified the CRISPR method so it can be used to effectively reverse mutations involving changes in one letter of the genetic code. That’s important because two-thirds of genetic illness in humans involve mutations where there’s a change in a single letter.

How Climate Scientists Feel About Climate Change Deniers - Jason Box Tweet Controversy Now, sitting behind his desk in his office at Penn State, he goes back to his swirl of emotions. "You find yourself in the center of this political theater, in this chess match that's being played out by very powerful figures—you feel anger, befuddlement, disillusionment, disgust." The intimidating effect is undeniable, he says. Some of his colleagues were so demoralized by the accusations and investigations that they withdrew from public life. "Gene Drives" And CRISPR Could Revolutionize Ecosystem Management - Guest Blog - Scientific American Blog Network Invasive cane toads might one day be controlled with CRISPR gene drives. Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey A note from the authors: With this guest blog post we want to share the key features of an innovative method for the high-precision genome editing of wild populations that has been outlined by our team at the Wyss Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health. Our technical description of the proposed method was published today in eLife, while an accompanying essay on regulation and governance was published today in Science. We aim to introduce the technology – well in advance of any concrete implementation – in order to start a public conversation on how we might collectively explore ways to responsibly develop and use it for the betterment of humanity and the environment.

Humans to become 'pets' of AI robots, says Apple co-founder Wozniak (NaturalNews) If you needed just one more reason to trash your iPhone, this is it. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently told a crowd of techies in Austin, Texas, that the future of humanity will predicate on artificially-intelligent (AI) robots keeping people as "pets" - and Wozniak says he's actually looking forward to this grim, robot-dominated future. Building upon Apple's "Siri" concept, which is AI in its infancy, Wozniak's vision for 100 years from today is that humans will be literally owned by AI robots, much like how humans currently own dogs or cats. Robots will be in charge, in other words, and humans will be their slaves. And all of this will somehow be "really good for humans," in Wozniak's view.

Relaxed Observance of Traditional Marriage Rules Allows Social Connectivity without Loss of Genetic Diversity + Author Affiliations ↵*Corresponding author: E-mail: m.p.cox@massey.ac.nz. Marriage rules, the community prescriptions that dictate who an individual can or cannot marry, are extremely diverse and universally present in traditional societies. A major focus of research in the early decades of modern anthropology, marriage rules impose social and economic forces that help structure societies and forge connections between them. New CRISPR system for targeting RNA - Science and Technology Research News Researchers from MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as well as the National Institutes of Health, Rutgers University at New Brunswick, and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, have characterized a new CRISPR system that targets RNA, rather than DNA. The new approach has the potential to open a powerful avenue in cellular manipulation. Whereas DNA editing makes permanent changes to the genome of a cell, the CRISPR-based RNA-targeting approach may allow researchers to make temporary changes that can be adjusted up or down, and with greater specificity and functionality than existing methods for RNA interference.

The Aftershocks — Matter Giulio Selvaggi was asleep when the shaking started. It was the night of April 5, 2009, and the head of Italy’s National Earthquake Center had worked late into the night in Rome before going home to crash. From the motion of his bed, Selvaggi could tell the quake was big — but not close. When you’re near the epicenter of a major quake, it’s like being a kernel of corn inside a popcorn maker. When you’re farther away, the movement is slower and steadier, back and forth, as the shock waves hit you.

Related: