Using the current trendy gene-editing system CRISPR, a team from Harvard University has encoded images and a short movie into the DNA of living bacteria. You read that right. It’s part of a larger effort to use DNA to store data… which is nuts.
Read about it here!
The great things about CRISPR is its potential do all kinds of interesting things! The scary part about CRISPR is its ability to mutate human embryos and the slippery slope to designer babies. That last part might be an exaggeration… but given that scientists just removed a dangerous mutation from human embryos…. its not too far off.
You can read about it all over the place, but I particularly like this NY Times article.
Embryos before and after editing.
Scientists on at MIT are proposing to introduce a mouse that has its genes edited to resist Lyme disease. Given the high prevalence of Lyme disease on the small New England Island, the removal of Lyme disease from the mouse population (who harbor before it infects humans) would then directly effect how prevalent it is in the human population.
But really, this story is about one of the first real world examples of CRISPR, the revolutionary gene editing tool.
Read about it over at the New Yorker.
You know when you look at a giant box of chocolates, and you think “I’ll only have just the one” do you know you’re lying to yourself before you eat the whole box?
I have been telling myself for months that I’m going to stop posting about the ongoing CRISPR saga. It should not surprise anyone that like the fat kid with the box of chocolate I’m not done.
We have started human trials on CRISPR. That’s right, the dream, the money sink, the controversy over the patent, and somehow, less than a year later, we’re already at human trials. This is insane (but interesting?).
What could possibly go wrong? Read the non-exhaustive list here.
And you should probably be aware there will be more posts about CRISPR in the future…