UK could become gene-editing leader in farming post-Brexit

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Scientists at the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, said [February 2017] that they had edited the genomes of pigs, rendering them immune to a dangerous virus. The announcement is extraordinary precisely because it sounds almost routine these days. Gene editing is already starting to save the lives of human cancer patients and generate healthier crops. Yet the battle to ensure it gains favour with public opinion must be urgently addressed. The usual suspects are already trying to blacken its name.

Broadly speaking, and characteristically, the French are against the new technique, the Germans are split, while the Dutch and Swedes want to go ahead. The British government is saying nothing. This is pusillanimous. We are pioneers in the use of gene editing in research, even on human embryos, and on gene-editing therapy of the kind used in the leukaemia trials and the pig experiments….

We should get out there and say: gene editing is the most exciting new tool in our kit. … [S]ince the European Union has not made up its mind about gene editing in farming and will not for another year, we should boldly state publicly that we are clear to press ahead with approvals, and welcome further research here.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Power to tweak DNA is giant leap for mankind (behind paywall)