Friday, January 10, 2020

Science Marches Onward - Gene Editing

Here is a link to an article in the New York Times on the state of the art in genetics that's lengthy, but well worth reading.
Imagine you could make a genetically transmitted trait super-dominant. The example here was to make all offspring of a batch of mosquitoes male. How long before the entire colony is wiped out? The answer is not very long if the bug is a fast-reproducing type, but in any case extinction will happen eventually since the trait is always passed along. Super-dominant, see?

The researcher is looking at the malaria-carrying mosquito as that is a clear and present threat. The opposition to wiping the little bugger out is irrational, but surprisingly strong. It seems to be coming from the same sort of anti-vaxers who travel from village to village in Pakistan, checking all the children and cutting off any arms that show signs of a smallpox vaccination.

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