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The Download: the place gene enhancing goes subsequent


We know the fundamentals of wholesome residing by now. A balanced weight-reduction plan, common train, and stress discount will help us keep away from coronary heart illness—the world’s largest killer. But what if you happen to might take a vaccine, too? And not a typical vaccine—one shot that may alter your DNA to supply lifelong safety?

That imaginative and prescient just isn’t far off, researchers say. Advances in gene enhancing, and CRISPR expertise particularly, might quickly make it doable.

Gene enhancing could also be lastly able to go mainstream, treating many ailments and circumstances—and never all of them genetic. In the long run, we would be capable of use the identical method to guard individuals from hypertension and diabetes, and dramatically enhance their high quality of life within the course of. Read the full story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

CRISPR for prime ldl cholesterol is considered one of MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2023. Explore the rest of the list, and vote in our poll to assist us determine what our last eleventh expertise ought to be.

These scientists used CRISPR to place an alligator gene into catfish

What’s occurred? Millions of fish are farmed within the US yearly, however lots of them die from infections. In idea, genetically engineering fish with genes that defend them from illness might assist to handle the difficulty. A staff of scientists have tried to do exactly that—by inserting an alligator gene into the genomes of catfish.

Why an alligator gene? The alligator gene codes for a protein referred to as cathelicidin which is antimicrobial, in line with the staff at Auburn University in Alabama. In idea, it might make animals which have the gene artificially inserted into their genomes extra immune to ailments.

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