Light bulb or bomb?


augias bomba atomicaCRISPR ’s debut in the cultural programming of the Italian television occurred at “Quante storie”, a 30 minutes book show aired by the public broadcasting company (Rai 3, 23 March 2017). It went with a genuine interest into understanding the science of genome editing and many questions from the classic repertoire concerning biotechnology, from worries about economic interests at play (but if we want drugs, the pharma industry must be there) to the risk of using the new technique for eugenics purposes (the long shadow of Nazism still makes us think blond children would be favored). Continue reading

Crazy 4 CRISPR

maxresdefaultStunning, revolutionary, momentous
: these are some of the adjectives sprinkled by leading international journals over CRISPR. In the last few years the new technique of genetic modification has been mentioned in hundreds of studies, not counting the articles published in the lay press. The keyword CRISPR (pronounced crisper) produces 6 million Google search results. Being the author of a book and a blog on the topic I can be dubbed as a genome-editing-enthusiast, but the title and logo I’ve chosen for my news and views diary are a way of kidding about the frenzy. The mug standing out on the homepage echoes the famous claim “Keep calm and carry on”. Keep calm and crispr on. When major scientific achievements arrive, or unexpected obstacles come between, because there are always some, or controversy erupts over this or that application of the technology, it won’t be the end of the world. Don’t panic and keep on crispring. Continue reading