Unnatural selection, don’t stop at episode 1

I binge-watched Unnatural Selection, as many CRISPR enthusiasts have done. My review in a few words: the Netflix miniseries is a patchwork of bad and good. On the minus side, too many biohackers and too little real science. On the plus side, some interesting reporting on social issues, such as public engagement of local communities and the challenge of patient access to novel therapies. To sum up: episode 1 on biohacking is the worst, episode 3 on gene drives is the best. So my advice is: don’t give up at the first disappointing scenes. You might want to, but do not stop.

Crazy 4 Prime Editing

Great piece of science by the Liu Lab in Nature, describing the brand new “Search-and-replace genome editing without double-strand breaks or donor DNA”. How is the CRISPR community reacting?

Best quote: “One of those ‘Yay, science!!!’ kind of moments” (Fyodor Urnov quoted in Science)

Most ironic: “Congratulations @davidrliu. We’d probably have published this paper as well (The CRISPR Journal tweet)

Best title: Genome Editing Heads to Primetime (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News)

Most understated: A New Gene Editing Tool Could Make CRISPR More Precise (Smithsonian Mag)

Most hyped: A New CRISPR Technique Could Fix Almost All Genetic Diseases (Wired)

The best of Human Nature, the film about CRISPR

Here is a semi-serious selection of the things that I liked the most in the documentary by Adam Bolt (please see the gallery’s caption to know why)

The CRISPRmobile driven by Rodolphe Barrangou (the CRISPR journal’s editor-in-chief); Fyodor Urnov’s communication skills (and t-shirt); Francisco Mojica replaying his seminal experiment in Spain; Alta Charo’s Star Trek-inspired bio-optimism; Vladimir Putin representing the voice of bio-pessimism (“it may be more terrifying than a nuclear bomb” he said at the World Youth Festival in Sochi, 21 October 2017); Ruthie and David playing basketball while their relatives worry about their health problems; last but not least the movie’s real star, the gorgeous Cas9!