Sunday, May 26

Genetics

It sounds like science fiction: A citizenry genetically engineered to be democratic. It’s not implausible. Last month, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report touting the promise of a biological engineering technique called gene drive—particularly for dealing with public health problems such as the Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever. Last year, Anthony James, […]

A few years ago, molecular biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, along with a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, were the first to file a patent for CRISPR-Cas9. It’s a DNA-editing technology adapted from the prokaryote immune system. Cas9 is a protein that can seek out and “cut” targeted gene strands […]

Headlines and apocalyptic notions about designer babies proliferated last month after Chinese scientists published the results of a curious set of experiments on human embryos. The researchers were looking to understand whether gene-editing technology could correct, before birth, a malformed gene that can cause a potentially devastating blood disease. They found that the method introduced new […]

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