science
The First US Human CRISPR Trials Could Start Any Day Now

The first U.S. human trial using CRISPR to treat disease could kick off any day now. The trials, led by the University of Pennsylvania, will use the gene-editing tool to modify immune cells, prompting them to attack three different types of cancer. Read More >>

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Why CRISPR-Edited Food May Be in US Supermarkets Sooner Than You Think

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops required to sell biotech crops. The next month, a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR also got a quick pass from the USDA. Read More >>

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Microsoft Wants to Use Artificial Intelligence to Make CRISPR More Accurate

The gene-editing technology CRISPR could very well one day rid the world of its most devastating diseases, allowing us to simply edit away the genetic code responsible for an illness. One of the things standing in the way of turning that fantasy into reality, though, is the problem of off-target effects. Now Microsoft is hoping to use artificial intelligence to fix this problem. Read More >>

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Biotech Stocks Drop After Troubling CRISPR Study, but Gene Editing Is Still the Future

On Monday, the world of science awoke to news that suddenly cast uncomfortable doubt on many of the past five years’ major breakthroughs: A new paper had identified a possible barrier to using the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. The news incited a temporary hysteria that sent the stocks of all three major CRISPR biotech firms tumbling in premarket trading, declining by as much as 11.9 per cent. Read More >>

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In 2018, We Will CRISPR Human Beings

Ever since 2012, when researchers first discovered that bacterial immune systems could be hijacked to edit DNA in living creatures, CRISPR has been hailed as a maker of revolutions. This was the year that prediction felt like it was starting to come true. US scientists used the CRISPR gene editing technique to treat a common genetic heart disease in a human embryo. Many more diseases were successfully treated in mice using CRISPR. Hell, a particularly enthusiastic biohacker even spontaneously injected himself with muscle-growth genes while giving a talk at a conference. Read More >>

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A Modified CRISPR Could Treat Common Diseases Without Editing DNA

The unassumingly named CRISPR/Cas9 is a technology that stands to remake the world as we know it. By allowing scientists to more easily than ever cut and paste all those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that encode all the world’s living things, for one thing, it could one day cure many devastating diseases. Read More >>

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Genetically Engineering Yourself Sounds Like a Horrible Idea—But This Guy Is Doing It Anyway

“If something goes wrong, I can just chop off that part of the skin.”
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This Outdated Law Makes CRISPR Illegal in Canada—and That’s Hurting Science

Canada is among the few countries in the world where genetically engineering human embryos isn’t just illegal, doing so could land you behind bars. Read More >>

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Could the Whole CRISPR Patent Kerfuffle Have Been Completely Avoided?

For the better part of the last three years, the introduction of the most powerful gene editing technology ever invented has been marred by a nasty patent battle. The two groups of scientists involved, each contributing significantly to the future of genetic engineering, are pitted against each other in a bitter contest for glory and fortune. Read More >>

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Stunning Video Is the First to Show CRISPR Editing DNA in Real Time

Despite sounding like an off-brand breakfast cereal, the genetic engineering technique CRISPR has infiltrated the vocabulary of the general public, stoking fierce ethics debates, imaginative renderings of the future and even inspiring a novel and a J.Lo-backed TV series. That’s because CRISPR truly is amazing, allowing human beings to alter genetic code with a level of precision never before achieved. And now there’s actual video footage documenting just how amazing CRISPR really is. Read More >>

giz asks
When Will We Have Designer Babies?

Within 20 to 40 years, sex will no longer be the preferred method of reproduction. Instead, half the population with decent health care will – no shitting you – have eggs grown from human skin and fertilised with sperm, then have the entire genome of about 100 embryo samples sequenced, peruse the highlights, and pick the best model to implant. At least that’s what Stanford law professor and bioethicist Hank Greely predicts in The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction. But skin-grown humans aside, how long until we have “designer babies”? Read More >>

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How Scientifically Plausible Is the ‘Simian Flu’ in Planet of the Apes?

The Planet of the Apes prequels did much to explain how humans lost their status as the dominant species on the planet—a cataclysmic set of events fueled by a global pandemic known as the “Simian Flu.” This virus, the product of a medical experiment gone horribly wrong, wiped out the vast majority of humans, but it boosted the brains of apes. And in the latest installment of the franchise, the virus has mutated into an insidious new form, affecting humans in some disturbing new ways. That’s a lot for a single virus to do, prompting the inevitable question: How feasible is the Simian Flu from a scientific perspective? Read More >>

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Why Bringing Back a Woolly Mammoth Is No Longer Science Fiction

Dr. George Church is a real-life Dr. Frankenstein. The inventor of CRISPR and one of the minds behind the Human Genome Project is no longer content just reading and editing DNA—now he wants to make new life. In Ben Mezrich’s latest book, Wooly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures, Church and his Harvard lab try to do the impossible, and clone an extinct Woolly mammoth back into existence. Read More >>

science
Scientists Code an Animated GIF Into DNA

What’s a strand of DNA but data? We often think of its units, the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs, as letters of the words in an instruction manual. But what if, instead, we think of them as biological computer bits, storing the smallest unit of information? What stops scientists from harnessing the power of those units, using the latest biological technology to treat DNA like a writable disk? Read More >>

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Gene Editing Controversy Reminds Us Just How Much Money Influences Science

Recently, a kerfuffle in the world of CRISPR illustrated just how easily money—and our perception of it—can impact science. Read More >>