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Gene edited Chickens are on their way

Gene Edited Chickens are on Their Way!

Scientists in Britain are developing gene-edited chickens using new CRISPR gene-editing technology. The alleged motivation behind this modification is to try and prevent a flu pandemic in the future.

Scientists are removing the parts of the protein that the flu virus depends on and thus making the Chickens influenza resistant.

“If we could prevent influenza virus crossing from wild birds into chickens, we would stop the next pandemic at source,” said Wendy Barclay, a professor of virology at Imperial College London.

But thats not all….

CRISPR technology is relatively new, however, it has been around for some time in some form. Scientists have also edited Chickens to have genes added to code for IFNalpha2a, a human protein with anticancer and antiviral effects, and macrophage-CSF, a protein that helps produce white blood cells.

The experiments to try and produce an “edible” malaria vaccine, with the ultimate goal being that children drinking the milk would become vaccinated in the process.

Researchers have also used CRISPR technology and other gene-editing technologies to create cows that can tolerate warmer temperatures, goats with longer cashmere wool and rabbits and pigs with bigger, leaner muscles. But you’ll never guess what, there were side effects.

Enlarged tongues in the rabbits.8 Among pigs that were altered by deleting the myostatin (MSTN) gene, which limits muscle growth, the larger muscles came along with an extra vertebrate in 20 percent of the gene-edited animals.

Researchers at the U.K.’s Wellcome Sanger Institute systematically studied mutations from CRISPR-Cas9 in mouse and human cells, large genetic rearrangements were observed, including DNA deletions and insertions, near the target site.

The DNA deletions could end up activating genes that should stay “off,” such as cancer-causing genes, as well as silencing those that should be “on.

Richard Dawkins on Gene Editing
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