Monday, October 12, 2015

CRISPR and the Future of Genetic Modification

CRISPR is enabling a lot of "progress".  A quote from a Technology Review piece, predicting CRISPR-ized seeds being available by the end of the decade:
Gutterson said the objectives of plant labs include engineering resistance to blights or to low rainfall by rapidly introducing beneficial gene variants found in other varieties of the same species. Using conventional breeding to move traits can take many years. “It takes a lot of time and is not as precise as we would like,” says Gutterson. “We could very much short-cut that.”
The key question is the attitude that the public and regulators will take to these plants.
Companies hope gene-edited crops could be largely exempted from regulation. Already, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has told several companies that it will not regulate these plants because they don’t contain genes from other species. However, it’s unclear how the European Union or China will approach plants made with the new methods.
As I've been saying, it's going to be hard to reject such plants.
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