Expert Analysis:
Emerging Genetic Technologies

May 17, 2016

National Academies report looks at 30 years of GE crops, advocates changes to regulation

The National Academies has published a wide-ranging assessment of the impact of genetically engineered crops. The report recommends U.S. regulations need to focus on individual products, not the process by which they were made. Continue reading

May 10, 2016

Cows made hornless through gene-editing, with no off-target effects

A letter in Nature Biotechnology reports the rearing of two young dairy cows whose genomes were edited to make them hornless, with no off-target effects. Continue reading

April 18, 2016

How should gene-edited crops be regulated? National Academies meeting seeks answers

On Monday, April 18 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are holding their first meeting to consider the regulation of future biotechnology products, including gene-edited crops. Continue reading

February 19, 2016

UPDATE: USDA decides first CRISPR-edited crop is not regulated

USDA has decided that it will not regulate a mushroom which has been gene-edited to prevent browning. The mushroom, developed by Yinong Yang at Penn State, is the first crop modified using CRISPR-Cas9 that USDA has said is not subject to regulation. Continue reading

February 4, 2016

Combating Zika with genetically engineered mosquitoes: Hope or hype?

As the Zika outbreak continues in the Americas, methods of controlling the mosquitoes that spread the virus by using genetic engineering have gained attention. But how realistic is it for these new technologies to be deployed on a large scale? Continue reading

January 27, 2016

Nature Genetics editorial: gene-edited crops ‘should not be subject to government oversight’

An editorial in Nature Genetics has called for gene-edited crops to be subject to no more regulation than crops developed through conventional breeding. The Obama administration has launched a review of regulation for biotech crops, and the editorial calls for regulation to be based on the product, not the technology used to make it. Continue reading

November 23, 2015

Gene drive used to create mosquitoes with potential to stop spread of malaria

Researchers have used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to create a ‘gene drive’ system that spread an anti-malarial gene through a population of the Anopheles Stephensi mosquito, a leading malaria vector in Asia, according to a study in PNAS. Continue reading

November 10, 2015

CRISPR opens up new method of creating virus resistant plants

Researchers have found a new way to make plants virus-resistant by harnessing the ability of the gene-editing tool CRISPR to chop up invading viral DNA, according to a study in Genome Biology. Continue reading

September 30, 2015

Gene-edited micropigs to be sold as pets

A research institution in China is going to sell gene-edited micropigs as pets, according to Nature news. The pigs were originally developed as models for human disease. Researchers used TALENs, a gene-editing tool used to make precise changes to DNA, to disable genes responsible for growth so that the pigs only grow to around 33lbs. Continue reading

August 17, 2015

Monsanto is developing ‘genetic sprays’ using RNAi to combat pests and enhance crops

Agricultural biotechnology companies are developing sprays to control weeds and insect pests by temporarily altering their genetics through RNA interference. Companies like Monsanto see the RNAi sprays as an alternative to developing new genetically engineered crops. Continue reading

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