© Pint of Science, 2019. All rights reserved.
Editing the genome - how far do you think is too far? Did you know we’re not as different from frogs as you might think? Join us to discuss the ethical implications of gene editing and how it’s done naturally in the animal kingdom.
The Magic of microRNAs: How They Made You
In each cell lies the code for life; our DNA. DNA is like a winding string of information that tells sub-cellular machinery to make the blocks for life, proteins. Have you ever wondered how cells know where and when to produce these blocks? MicroRNAs are short interfering strings of information that can block the production of those building blocks, and can therefore affect gene expression. An area of key importance, where these short strings may have greatest impact is thought to be in the developing embryo. Using frogs to investigate, these strings are being untangled and better understood.
Hacking the Code of Life
For the first time in history, any vaguely competent scientist can use simple tools to directly alter the genes of any organism on the planet through a process called gene editing. From humans to butterflies, from mushrooms to pigs, gene editing is changing the world around us with remarkable speed. How will we use this amazing technology? Will we solve the problems of global hunger or accelerate the declines in biodiversity?