How CRISPR gene editing is poised to change everything from medicine to ecosystems

CRISPR could be a massive game changer.

Scientists create low-fat pigs by giving them a thermal regulation gene

At the very least, this is a testament to how far genetic editing has come.

Genetic-scissor enzyme eliminates HIV completely in mice trials

A new gene-snipping enzyme was successful in removing strands of HIV genetic material in mice trials. If the enzyme can prove its reliability in human trials it might revolutionize how we fight the virus forever.

Reactions to FDA approving genetically engineered salmon

A few days ago, the FDA approved the genetic engineering of modified Atlantic salmon variety. This is the first food animal that was genetically modified that the FDA approved for human consumption and farming; the gene alteration would make it grow much faster. Public reactions have been mixed, as expected. This could be a very good move, greatly reducing the stress on wild populations, but people are always reluctant when it comes to GMOs – especially animals.

Adorable gene-edited micropigs to be sold as pets in China – and this is a problem

Many researchers have expressed concerns about using such advanced techniques for such frivolous purposes, and personally, I feel like this could cascade onto many other problems – despite their undeniable cuteness.

GM labeling initiative defeated in Washington

Why the US is against GM labeling is beyond me. In the European Union, all products must clearly state if they contain or not genetically modified organisms. However, in the United States, where over 60 percent of processed foods contain a genetically altered ingredient, GM labeling is not required, and consumers remain largely unconcerned about it. Mandatory labeling of genetically

Mutant mosquitoes lose desire for human scent

Mosquitoes are not only extremely annoying, but they’re some of the most lethal creatures out there, with malaria infecting over 200 million people each year. But genetically modified mosquitoes that lack some of their sense of smell cannot tell humans from other animals and no longer avoid approaching people who are slathered in bug spray. This finding, published in Nature,

Algae produce 3-D, complex proteins used for cheap, yet effective anti-cancer treatment

Scientists at UC San Diego have finally collected the fruits of their decade-long labor after they managed to genetically engineered algae that can produce complex antibiotics that prevent cancer, otherwise extremely expensive to develop in laboratories. Cheaper treatment would thus be possible, that’s not only limited to cancer, but a slew of other afflictions otherwise treatable would expensive designer-drugs. Typically, complex and foldable proteins

Coconut-flavored pineapple engineered by scientists

Some scientists alter genes and breed glow in the dark puppies, others breed pineapples that also taste like coconut, like Australian horticulturalists at Queensland’s department of agriculture. The fruit of their 10 years labor of love was quickly dubbed the “piña colada pineapple” by the press, since it tastes like the two main ingredients of the famous beverage. What’s remarkable

Spatial genetic method can pinpoint an individual’s geographic origin

Genetic diversity is what keeps species evolving, helps them tackle diseases and is a prime pre-requisite for natural selection. Understanding genetic diversity is imperitive for scientists in the field, whether it’s about identifying associations between genetic variants and diseases or highlighting interesting aspects of human population history. One of these aspects is geographical location. Remarkably, an international team of scientists comprised of

Genetically engineered crops reach 11.5% of the total arable land

The first genetically engineered or biotech food products were released on the market for the first time in 1994. Consumers received them fairly well, and since then more production intensified, such that between 1997 and 2010, the total surface area of land cultivated with GMOs had increased by a factor of 87. In 2011, biotech crops reached 160 million hectares,

Scientists engineer ‘super mice’

Scientists from the École Polytenchnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), with the aid of colleagues  from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of Lausanne, managed to improve the muscle constitution of mice by knocking out genetically a “co-repressor” of the DNA transcription process. The end product are mice that are faster, stronger and healthier – meet the new generation

Enzyme allows mice to eat more, and gain less weight

Scientists have genetically engineered mice able to express a certain enzyme, which allows for an increased metabolic rate. The lab mice infussed with this enzyme in their fat tissue were able to eat more, but gain far less weight than their naturally bred brethren. It’s generally acknowledged that obesity and inflammation cause insulin resistance, however it’s not perfectly understood why

Scientists genetically engineer glowing dog

In what’s maybe the most startling research I’ve been granted to read about recently, scientists from South Korea at Seoul National University, home to the world’s only strictly genetic engineering curricula, have successfully created a dog that can glow in the dark. The genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon, was born in 2009 using a cloning technique which could help

Gene therapy for Parkinson disease boasts remarkable results

While gene-therapy is still regarded as a very innovative practice, it seems like the procedure might take traction as of today when remarkable results were concluded after the first successful double-blind gene therapy for Parkinson disease. In the case of this dreadful disease, medical researchers injected patients with a a gene that codes for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), an enzyme

What Is Genetic Engineering

  So according to Wikipedia, genetic engineering involves the isolation, manipulation and reintroduction of DNA into cells or model organisms, usually to express a protein to reach desired effects. The aim is to introduce new characteristics or attributes physiologically or physically, such as making a crop resistant to a herbicide, introducing a novel trait, enhancing existing ones, or producing a