Quick Update on Bio News
I’m sorry I’m late to report this X)
So there’s this new way to modify genes called CRISPR/CAS9. There’s a neat video explaining it here: youtu.be/2pp17E4E-O8
Scientists have developed an easy way to genetically modify parts of an organism's genetic makeup; though for mammals it has to be when they are only a few cells right after the fertilization of the egg. There are a lot of far-reaching and possibly scary implications of this.
Nature has a letter calling for a pause to think about it before trying it on humans
What if we could "knock out" (a bio term) the gene for Huntington's disease?
What if we modified any other gene?
In the lab I worked in, we needed a strain of the yeast we were studying that didn't have a working copy of a certain gene. It was expensive to send away for the strain because it used to be a really hard thing to do to get rid of a gene. This new method makes that so much easier.
So it makes research for things like finding new ways to combat pathogens much easier :D but now we can also genetically modify humans before birth with the same technique.... Which really doesn't sound ethical. Unless it's validated as a treatment for major genetic disorders. I don't know if it's a good thing yet X)
I mean, genome modification has been possible for years, but with the new CRISPR/Cas9 method, it is suddenly much easier and effective.
There are also somatic applications of this technique, meaning that it is possible to modify genes in only certain, localized cells (in localized cancer cells, for example). These changes would probably not be heritable.
Also, Ray, why? : /