Crispy weekend reads

This is an issue for all tastes and interests. Don’t miss (Broken) Promises of Sustainable Food and Agriculture through New Biotechnologies by Todd Kuiken, Rodolphe Barrangou and Khara Grieger; A Code of Ethics for Gene Drive Research by George Annas and other members of the Controlling and Countering Gene Editing in Mosquitoes research project funded by the DARPA Safe Genes program; The Cas9 Hammer and the Sickle by Fyodor Urnov.

From the double helix to CRISPR: Watson updates his genetic revolution


Let’s read these letters: DNA. Who’s the first person who comes to your mind? The chances are high that you say James Watson, the politically incorrect half of the pair that in 1953 unveiled the double helix and the molecular basis of inheritance. It can be argued that this discovery opened the path leading to the invention of CRISPR sixty years later. The scientist who personifies one of the biggest turning points for human culture, now eighty-nine, has written what he thinks of the young technology for genome editing in the latest edition of “DNA. The Story of the Genetic Revolution “. The book, first published in 2003, has just been updated to cover the latest science and technology developments. Continue reading


cover-libroRefining, chiselling, correcting DNA letter by letter. You can do it simultaneously in dozens of selected sites, or in one place, leaving no trace. A new kind and powerful technique is changing the face of biology. Cheap and easy to handle but precise as a laser. It allows reaserchers to change living organisms as they wish, by carefully targeting their DNA. It doesn’t bombard them by means of random mutations, it doesn’t cut and sew the DNA in a traditional way, as in the past. Will it transform medicine, agriculture and the world as we know it? Enthusiasm and fears are chasing each other, and this book explains the unfolding revolution. Welcome to the age of CRISPR. Continue reading