November 8, 2016

Genome editing: a major breakthrough in life sciences

Redesigning Life: How genome editing will transform the world

While in a previous post I claimed that genome editing could be a "weapon of mass destruction", today I would like to suggest a close look at this new book. Specifically, chapter 4, The Gene Scissors is a must read to understand the scientific revolution that's going on in life sciences.
In contrast to such limitations of traditional genetic engineering approaches the power of genome editing lies inf four key features. First, the technique can be applied to practically any cell type from any plant or animal species, ranging from bacteria to humans. Second, it can precisely target any región of genome. (...) . Third, the efficiency of gene targeting is extremely high, so no complicated drug selection to identify a one in a million event is required. Fourth, this type of genetic engineering leaves no trace of foreign DNA in the genome that is being targeted.
The tools for the newest type of genome editing are simple to prepare, being well within the power of any scientist with basic molecular biology skills, reagents and equipment.
The complexity of this new approach is explained in clear and understandable language. John Parrington has made a good job, as he did in his previous book: "The deeper genome".

PS. If you want to know the latest on the topic, check Nature: The dark side of human genome
PS. If you want to know a snake-oil seller on genome, check this. The regulator is still on vacation.