Tag Archives: Gene editing

Five Things to Know About the Latest Gene Editing Breakthrough

By Ben Panko – In this study, scientists worked with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system, which is kind of like cut and paste on for genes. It’s based on a naturally occurring immune system found in many bacteria species in which the microbes keep a “hit list” of virus DNA in their genomes so they can recognize future dangerous intruders.

If any of that DNA is present, the bacteria deploys enzymes called Cas (CRISPR-associated proteins), which precisely and efficiently snip out that DNA.

This research was notable for its use of viable embryos, or embryos that could likely develop into a baby if allowed to grow, reports Dina Fine Moran for Scientific American.

This is the first time this has ever happened on U.S. soil, but scientists in China have already been pushing the envelope for years. more> https://goo.gl/oxtpXQ

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New genetic engineering is slipping past old regulations

By Jennifer Kuzma – Since the late 1970s, genetic engineers had to blindly launch a novel gene into a host cell, hoping it landed in a good spot and worked well there.

Not anymore.

Now they can precisely cut and delete particular spots of DNA; replace portions of genes; or add entirely new genes in specific places. These techniques, collectively called ‘gene editing,’ are akin to our abilities to take pen to paper to delete phrases, rearrange sentences or add new ones. CRISPR-Cas9 in particular makes it easy for genetic engineers to mutate, swap or add multiple genes at one time.

Animal and crop genetic engineering is heading quickly towards gene editing, not just because of its speed and creative power but also because its developers recognize loopholes in oversight in the United States. Some of the new gene-editing techniques fall outside of current regulatory definitions, which are based on old-school genetic engineering.

Regulatory avoidance has become the name of the game, as biotech crop developers flock towards under-the-radar gene editing. more> https://goo.gl/POc4rh