After a virus was created from mail-order DNA, scientists are sounding the alarm about the genetic tinkering carried out in private homes.
The regulations that govern synthetic biology are not designed for synthetic biology, and are inadequate to regulate newer gene editing applications (such as CRISPR editing).
Battelle is building new software for the US government to screen small bits of DNA and assess whether they belong to potentially dangerous genetic sequences.
Researchers have figured out the mechanism by which the CRISPR gene-editing enzyme Cas9 determines where and when to cut DNA strands which could help prevent gene-cutting errors.
Gene-editing techniques continue to evolve and improve, but wider commercial use will be contingent upon greater legislative approval.
With do-it-yourself Crispr kits now available online, Hannah Devlin asks if it’s really possible to edit your own DNA.
The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), the largest organization of scientists who work in gene and cell therapy, has come out against DIY gene therapies.
Scientists are also trying to create gene drives in species beyond mosquitoes, including fruit flies, nematodes, and baker’s yeast.
Normally, drug makers must need the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) permission to test new drugs, but now a growing number of cases of DIY gene therapy are putting the agency in a difficult regulatory situation.
To explore these potential impacts of advances in biological engineering, contributors ran a horizon scanning exercise to capture perspectives on the opportunities and risks presented by the technologies.