CRISPR is now being used on humans in the U.S.


The gene editing trial has two patients so far.

CRISPR therapies are entering the mainstream.

The first U.S. trial of CRISPR in humans has begun, NPR reported Tuesday. Two patients are currently being treated as part of a University of Pennsylvania study. Per NPR, both have difficult-to-treat forms of cancer and both have relapsed after regular treatments. As part of the trial, researchers are taking immune cells from the patients’ own bodies and editing them with CRISPR before putting them back in. The hope is that these edited cells will be better at identifying and attacking the cancer than their unaltered counterparts. According to the U.S. government clinical trial registry, the researchers are hoping to enroll 18 people in their study. But it’s not certain yet whether they’ll be approved for that many subjects, reports Jon Fingas for Engadget.

Continue reading… “CRISPR is now being used on humans in the U.S.”

Designer babies on horizon as ethics council gives green light to genetically edited embryos


Designer babies are on the horizon after an influential group of scientists concluded that it could be ‘morally permissible’ to genetically engineer human embryos.

In a new report which opens the door to a change in the law, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, said that DNA editing could become an option for parents wanting to ‘influence the genetic characteristics of their child.’

Although it would be largely used to cure devastating genetic illnesses, or predispositions to cancers and dementia, the experts said they were not ruling out cosmetic uses such as making tweaks to increase height or changing eye or hair colour, if it would make a child more successful.

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Genetically engineered bacteria—spread by mosquito sex—could spell the end of malaria


The mosquito is a delicate insect, with spindly legs and a graceful proboscis. The parasitic, single-celled organisms that spread malaria are even smaller and more fragile, and scientists are trying their hardest to remove them from the planet. More than 400,000 lives every year are at stake—that’s more people than die of international terrorist attacks, lightening strikes and shark attacks combined.

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Mosquito wars – introducing one million non-biting sterile male mosquitoes weekly into the wild


Last October, we announced the Debug Project, an initiative at Verily to reduce the devastating global health impact that disease-carrying mosquitoes inflict on people around the world. Today, I’m happy to announce the launch of Debug Fresno, our first field study in the U.S. to test a potential mosquito control method using sterile insect technique in collaboration with MosquitoMate and Fresno County’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD).

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Evolving Viruses To Death


Even Viruses Can’t Escape Evolution

Evolution, by the very meaning of the word, is generally thought to be a process that slowly unfolds over time, without outside interference.

But now scientists from Rice University are trying to force certain viruses to evolve erratically, in an attempt to kill them. The technique is called “lethal mutagenesis,” and while it may sound vicious, it could be a last resort of self-defense against contagious viruses that attack humans.

Reconstruction of a rotavirus particle. Credit: Graham Colm.Reconstruction of a rotavirus particle. Credit: Graham Colm.Rice bioengineer Michael Deem explains that genetically engineering a virus to mutate in a specific way could change entire sets of the organism’s genes. In their recent study, the Rice scientists develop a formula that can be used to predict exactly how certain mutations alter evolution.

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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
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