Where does gene editing go next
We now know the basics of a healthy life. A balanced diet, regular physical activity and stress reduction can help us avoid heart disease, the biggest killer in the world. What if you could also get vaccinated? And not a typical vaccine – an injection that would alter your DNA to give you lifelong protection?
That vision is not far off, say the researchers. Advances in gene editing, and CRISPR technology in particular, may soon make this possible.
Gene editing may finally be ready to go mainstream, treating many diseases and conditions, and not all of them genetic. In the future, we may be able to use the same approach to protect people against high blood pressure and diabetes, and dramatically improve their quality of life. Read the full story.
CRISPR for hypercholesterolemia is one of the MIT Technology Review 10 game-changing technologies of 2023. Explore the rest of the list and vote in our poll to help us decide what our 11th final technology should be.
These scientists used CRISPR to put an alligator gene into catfish
What happened? Millions of fish are farmed in the United States every year, but many of them die of infections. In theory, genetically modifying fish with genes that protect them from disease could help solve the problem. A team of scientists attempted to do just that by inserting an alligator gene into catfish genomes.
Why an alligator gene? The alligator gene codes for a protein called cathelicidin that is antimicrobial, according to the team from Auburn University in Alabama. In theory, this could make animals whose gene is artificially inserted into their genome more resistant to disease.