Tag Archives DNA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an extension to its comment periods for information on the use of genome editing techniques in animals and in plant varieties used for human or animal food. Comments on FDA's draft guidance, "Regulation of Intentionally Altered Genomic DNA in Animals," and on the use of genome editing techniques to produce new plant varieties will be accepted until June 19, 2017.   Issue 631

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) has released a study examining research into man-made gene drives, a type of gene editing that allows for the spread of gene modifications “throughout a population of organisms intentionally.” Titled Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values, the report focuses on techniques that use segments of bacterial DNA—such as clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)—paired with a guide protein (CRISPR-associated protein 9, or Cas9) “to make targeted cuts in an organism’s genome.” Organisms modified using CRISPR-Cas9 then pass these changes to their offspring through sexual reproduction, a process that allows scientists to alter whole populations in an effort to eradicate insect-borne infectious diseases, for example. Calling these developments “both encouraging and concerning,” the report seeks to provide “an independent, objective assessment of the state of knowledge and responsible practices for research, risk assessment,…